Skip to Main Content

Anti-Racist Teaching Guide

A guide to complement the 2023 Anti-Racist Pedagogy Symposium

Purpose of this guide, and how to use it

This guide was created in partnership with and in support of the 2023 Anti-Racist Pedagogy Symposium and Community of Practice. This guide is not an exhaustive list, but rather serves as a starting point for individuals to learn about anti-racist teaching methods and allyship. The guide sections address various facets of anti-racist teaching practices. Many sections of this guide will include a collection of articles, books, and other resources.  For more detailed description of a book, move your mouse over the title.

2023 Collaborative Library Guide Development Highlights

We would love your feedback to continue building and improving this guide! We also plan to hold focus groups (likely in August 2023), and we're looking for volunteers.

To share your feedback and/or interest in focus group participation, please fill out this brief form: Feedback and Focus Group Interest Form. Thanks for your help!

Do you have suggestions for other materials that should be included in this guide?  Please submit them via this Resource Recommendation Form. Thank you for your recommendations!

Brief definitions

Definitions for Diversity, Equity, Cultural Competency, and Inclusion.

Diversity is all the characteristics that makes individuals unique. It is used to describe the various combinations of groups/ social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability, as well as cultural, political, religious, and other affiliations) and human differences ( e.g., personality learning style, and life experiences)." Extension: A part of the Cooperative Extension System, 2018-2021,

Equity is ensuring everyone gets what they need in order to contribute to the work with the relevant skills and talents they have.

Cultural Competence is the awareness and understanding of beliefs, practices, ideas, histories, and material components of an individual's identity or social/familial group. (Oxford American Dictionary, 1980)

Inclusion is the process of treating or regarding something or someone as part of a greater whole. (Oxford American Dictionary, 1980)

What are oppression and anti-racism?

"Oppression is the use of power to disempower, marginalize, silence or otherwise subordinate one social group or category, often in order to further empower and/or privilege the oppressor. Social oppression may not require formally established organizational support to achieve its desired effect; it may be applied on a more informal, yet more focused, individual basis." (UNC Charlotte Atkins Library Anti-Racism Teaching Guide)

“Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.” (Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre (ACLRC)/antiracism).

What is anti-racist teaching?

Bettina Love writes, "Antiracist teaching is not just about acknowledging that racism exists,  but consciously committing to the struggle of fighting for racial justice" (p.54,2019) - drawn from Virginia Tech's Anti-Racist Teaching PDN course

What is an ally?

An ally is "an individual who actively and continuously strives towards promoting justice and ending marginalization." (College of Dupage Library, "Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression: Allyship")

Land Acknowledgement & Labor Recognition

Virginia Tech acknowledges that we live and work on the Tutelo/Monacan People’s homeland and we recognize their continued relationships with their lands and waterways. We further acknowledge that legislation and practices like the Morrill Act (1862) enabled the commonwealth of Virginia to finance and found Virginia Tech through the forced removal of Native Nations from their lands, both locally and in western territories.

We understand that honoring Native Peoples without explicit material commitments falls short of our institutional responsibilities. Through sustained, transparent, and meaningful engagement with the Tutelo/Monacan Peoples, and other Native Nations, we commit to changing the trajectory of Virginia Tech's history by increasing Indigenous student, staff, and faculty recruitment and retention, diversifying course offerings, and meeting the growing needs of all Virginia tribes and supporting their sovereignty.

We must also recognize that enslaved Black people generated revenue and resources used to establish Virginia Tech and were prohibited from attending until 1953. Through InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (that I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, we commit to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.