Testimonies from Participants
a teacher finds the justice journey "life-changing"
Laura Czarniecki, April 2017
I came away from the Justice Journey course with a renewed understanding of the importance of anti-bias work in the early childhood classroom, access to additional tools and resources that support teachers in this work and most importantly, a written plan with concrete goals for the upcoming school year. For example, I had read about using persona dolls in the classroom for years but had never used this tool because I had a strong fear of "doing it wrong." The course helped me understand that taking risks, trying out new tools, making mistakes and then reflecting on what you have learned are actions at the heart of being an anti-bias educator. Because I made it a goal during the course, I introduced a persona doll that fall. The doll radically transformed the conversations I had with my students and families about skin color, family structure, feelings, conflict and identity. Even after I moved on to a different school, the persona dolls continue to be used by the teachers who remain and are beloved members of the school community. Years later I am able to see that this course was a turning point for me--I entered the course as someone interested in anti-bias education and left with a map of how to become an anti-bias educator and leader. Katie Kissinger brings a vast wealth of experience, wisdom, and curiosity to the subject. She also brings both heart and humor to the weighty and painful subject of oppression. Through storytelling, videos, demonstrations, discussion facilitation and journal writing she skillfully guides participants to transform their practice and their view of each other and the world. The immersive, week-long experience is invaluably spacious, allowing teachers to connect, tell their stories, and encourage each other to reflect and plan for the future. I can't recommend this course enough, it was truly life-changing.
A Mother Finds her voice as an anti-bias Parent
Amy Dudley, March 2017
I was lucky enough to attend Katie Kissinger's 6 week course on anti-bias parenting when my daughter was 3 and my son was 1. When I walked into the room on the first day, I had been looking for a way to bring my values of justice and anti-oppression into my young family and was unsure how to do that, what to say, how much was too much, or not enough. When I completed the course, I left with a foundation that has served me and my children well for the past 4 years in exploring everything from differences in ability and body size to upsetting policies on immigration, discrimination against transgender people and youth, and police brutality. While a lot of these topics are heavy and daunting, I also feel grounded in the basics of anti-bias education that celebrate the natural joy, curiosity, and compassion our children bring to a diverse and beautiful world. Thank you Katie!
Here's a link to the summary I wrote for a group I am a part of after organizing a follow up workshop with preschool parents in 2014.