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SEW Resources

IRRPP has compiled a list of resources for educators, researchers, students and other community members. These are resources that people have used in their classrooms and for their research and are not IRRPP generated or endorsed resources. This list is not exhaustive by any means either. This is a working document that we will be adding to and changing. If you would like to share your ideas for resources, please email us at


These are organizations that do social justice work in education or with a focus on youth. All of the resources are free to use unless otherwise noted. This is not an exhaustive list and we welcome your suggestions for additions.

Alternatives Inc offers a support system that provides safe spaces for youth and their families to address root causes and discover positive alternatives. Reaching 4,000 young people and their families each year, their programs focus on leadership development, prevention of violence and substance abuse, academic enrichment, and counseling.

The Chicago Freedom School (CFS) seeks to create new generations of critical and independent thinking young people who use their unique experiences and power to create a just world. CFS provides training and education opportunities for youth and adult allies to develop leadership skills through the lens of civic action and through the study of the history of social movements and their leaders.

The CPS American Indian Education Program provides educational services to all Native American Indian students within the Chicago Public Schools district and organizes community events promoting Native American Indian education to outside organizations.

The Chicago Teachers Union is an organization of educators dedicated to advancing and promoting quality public education, improving teaching and learning conditions, protecting members’ rights, and working to achieve educational, racial, economic, and social justice.

Facing History and Ourselves is a nonprofit international educational and professional development organization. They work with teachers, students, and communities everywhere, through online professional development, international events, and their free library of classroom resources. Their website includes curriculum resources with unit and lesson plans on social justice topics.

The Mikva Challenge develops youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society. Their website has an array of resources including civic engagement curriculum and teacher support.

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,800 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,500 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S. Contains curriculum and instruction resources, information, and best practices from NAIS.

The National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) has become the premier national and international organization that is committed to issues of equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice in schooling. Website has information about the organization, resources to assist efforts to diversify education, and opportunities to learn more about all aspects of education that is multicultural.

The Prison Neighborhood Arts Project is a visual arts project created to discuss challenging topics and push the boundaries of our thinking by connecting teaching artists and scholars to the wealth of knowledge and perspectives of the men at Stateville Maximum Security Prison.

Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education engages, informs, and empowers parents to protect and strengthen public education in Chicago and Illinois, to eliminate inequities in public schools, and to work at the grassroots for the public good that is public education.

Teachers for Social Justice is an organization of teachers, administrators, pre-service teachers, and educators working in public, independent, alternative, and charter schools and universities in the Chicago area that came together based on our commitment to education for social justice. We are working toward classrooms and schools that are anti-racist, multicultural / multilingual, and grounded in the experiences of our students.

Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world. By drawing direct connections to real world issues, Teaching for Change encourages teachers and students to question and re-think the world inside and outside their classrooms, build a more equitable, multicultural society, and become active global citizens.

Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants. Our program emphasizes social justice and anti-bias. The anti-bias approach encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives. Our Social Justice Standards show how anti-bias education works through the four domains of identity, diversity, justice and action.

Village Leadership Academy is a Chicago K-8 school offering a new approach to teaching and learning by emphasizing principles of social, political, and economic equity and a curriculum that brings the experiences and skills of students into the learning process.

The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history in middle and high school classrooms across the country. Its goal is to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. This website includes searchable teaching materials and texts organized by theme, medium, and reading level.

These are examples of grassroots, individual or youth developed toolkits and curricula that were sent to us by collaborators, teachers, researchers, and organizers. This is not an exhaustive list and we welcome your suggestions for additions.


The CPS service learning project has service learning lesson plans for teachers who are interested in facilitating independent projects in the classroom.

Cult of Pedagogy offers a collection of resources for teaching social justice.

USC’s Rossier School of Education created Speak Up: Opening A Dialogue with Youth About Racism as a resource to help teachers facilitate discussions about identity, inequality, and education for children of color in their classroom.

Teachers for Social Justice offers a Chicago based social justice education curriculum and other resources.

Teachers Unite: Growing Fairness has a toolkit of over 250 (and growing!) pages of original reflections, protocols, lesson plans, and so much more, written by teachers and students in schools across the city that are working to create restorative and inclusive school communities.

Restorative- and Transformative Justice-Focused

Project NIA offers accessible instruction to prison industrial complex for adults and youth with zines, curricula, and other resources.

The Something is Wrong Curriculum offers a small unit curriculum to analyze the root cause of youth violence and to create local solutions.

The Transformative Justice Curriculum offers a small unit curriculum guide to discuss transformative justice with youth, neighbors, colleagues and friends.


The FIERCE LGBTQ Youth of Color Workshop Curriculum offers a small unit curriculum that covers basic political education on power, oppression, and youth organizing as well as basic organizing skills in base-building and campaign development.

Housing Focused

Gentrification offers a small unit curriculum on gentrification and its resistance.

These are examples of books that relate to racial inequity and social justice education. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we welcome your suggestions for additions.

Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Trainers
Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, Pat Griffin
This book presents a well-constructed foundation for engaging the complex and often daunting problems of discrimination and inequality in American society. This book provides teachers and facilitators with an accessible pedagogical approach to issues of oppression in classrooms.

Teaching Towards Democracy
William Ayers, Kevin Kumashiro, Erica Meiners, Therese Quinn, David Stovall
This book examines the contested space of schooling and school reform with a focus on the unique challenges and opportunities that teaching in a democratic society provides. Teaching in and for democracy involves developing particular qualities of mind that teachers explore and work to develop as they become more effective educators.

Teaching for Social Justice: A Democracy and Education Reader
William Ayers, Jean Ann Hunt
Featuring a unique mix of hands-on, historical, and inspirational writings, the topics covered include education through social action, writing and community building, and adult literacy.

Handbook of Social Justice in Education
William Ayers, Therese Quinn, David Stovall
This book offers a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the field that addresses, from multiple perspectives, education theory, research, and practice in historical and ideological context, with an emphasis on social movements for justice.

Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives
James A Banks. & Cherry A McGee Banks
This book is designed to help current and future educators acquire the concepts, paradigms, and explanations needed to become effective practitioners in culturally, racially, linguistically, and social-class diverse classrooms and schools.

Black Girlhood Celebration: Toward a Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy
Ruth Nicole Brown
This book passionately illustrates why the celebration of Black girlhood is essential. Based on the principles and practices of a Black girl-centered program, it examines how performances of everyday Black girlhood are mediated by popular culture, personal truths, and lived experiences, and how the discussion and critique of these factors can be a great asset in the celebration of Black girls.

Creating the Opportunity to Learn
A. Wade Boykin, Pedro Noguera
In this book, the authors help navigate the turbid waters of evidence-based methodologies and chart a course toward closing (and eliminating) the academic achievement gap. Turning a critical eye to current and recent research, the authors present a comprehensive view of the achievement gap and advocate for strategies that contribute to the success of all children.

Raza Studies: The Public Option for Educational Revolution
Julio Cammarota, Augustine Romero
This book offers the first comprehensive account of this progressive—indeed revolutionary—program by those who created it, implemented it, and have struggled to protect it.

Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom
Lisa Delpit
In a radical analysis of contemporary classrooms, the author develops ideas about ways teachers can be better “cultural transmitters” in the classroom, where prejudice, stereotypes, and cultural assumptions breed ineffective education.

Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children
Louise Derman-Sparks, The ABC Taskforce
This is a book aimed at teachers of young children to help them create an empowering atmosphere of equality and diversity. It can be used to help young children develop anti-bias attitudes, learn to think critically, and speak up when they believe something is unfair.

Teaching/Learning Anti-Racism: A Developmental Approach
Louise Derman-Sparks, Carol Brunson Phillips
Drawing on experience teaching a college course, this book explains the process that evolves as teachers and students grapple with learning about racism and becoming antiracist.

Art of Critical Pedagogy: Possibilities for Moving from Theory to Practice in Urban Schools
Jeffrey M Duncan Andrade, Ernest Morrell
This book furthers the discussion concerning critical pedagogy and its practical applications for urban contexts. It addresses two looming, yet under-explored questions that have emerged with the ascendancy of critical pedagogy in the educational discourse: (1) What does critical pedagogy look like in work with urban youth? and (2) How can a systematic investigation of critical work enacted in urban contexts simultaneously draw upon and push the core tenets of critical pedagogy?

For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood
Chris Emdin
This book is the much-needed antidote to traditional top-down pedagogy and promises to radically reframe the landscape of urban education for the better. Drawing on his own experience of feeling undervalued and invisible in classrooms as a young man of color and merging his experiences with more than a decade of teaching and researching in urban America, the author offers a new lens on an approach to teaching and learning in urban schools.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Paolo Freire
Freire’s work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm.

Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
bell hooks
In this book, hooks writes about a new kind of education, education as the practice of freedom. Teaching students to “transgress” against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for hooks, the teacher’s most important goal.

School to Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform
Catherine Y Kim, Daniel J Losen, Damon T Hewitt
In this book, the authors analyze the current state of the law for each entry point on the pipeline and propose legal theories and remedies to challenge them. Using specific state-based examples and case studies, the authors assert that law can be an effective weapon in the struggle to reduce the number of children caught in the pipeline, address the devastating consequences of the pipeline on families and communities, and ensure that our public schools and juvenile justice system further the goals for which they were created: to provide meaningful, safe opportunities for all the nation’s children.

Bad Teacher!: How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture
Kevin Kumashiro
This book highlights the common ways that both the public and influential leaders think about the problems and solutions for public education, and suggests ways to help us see the bigger picture and reframe the debate.

The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
Gloria Ladson-Billings
In this book, the author shows that culturally relevant teaching is not a matter of race, gender, or teaching style. What matters most is a teacher’s efforts to work with the unique strengths a child brings to the classroom. This book challenges us to envision intellectually rigorous and culturally relevant classrooms that have the power to improve the lives of not just African American students, but all children.

Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Crystal T Laura
In a poignant and harrowing journey from systems of education to systems of criminal justice, the author follows her brother, Chris, who has been designated a “bad kid” by his school, a “person of interest” by the police, and a “gangster” by society.

Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to k-12 Anti-Racist Multicultural Education and Staff Development
Enid Lee
This book is an interdisciplinary guide for teachers, administrators, students, and parents that offers lessons and showing how to analyze the roots of racism, investigate the impact of racism on all our lives, our families, and our communities, examine the relationship between racism and other forms of oppression such as sexism, classism, and heterosexism and learn to work to dismantle racism in our schools, communities, and the wider society.

Race in the Schoolyard
Amanda E Lewis
Race in the Schoolyard takes us to a place most of us seldom get to see in action-our children’s classroomsand reveals the lessons about race that are communicated there, both implicitly and explicitly. The book examines how ideas about race and racial inequality take shape and are passed along from teacher to student and from student to student in the classroom and schoolyard.

Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools
Amanda E Lewis, John B Diamond
An in-depth study with far-reaching consequences, this book revolutionizes our understanding of both the knotty problem of academic disparities and the larger question of the color line in American society. Most crucially, the authors challenge many common explanations of the ‘racial achievement gap,’ exploring what race actually means in this situation, and why it matters.

Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue about Sexualities and Schooling
William J Letts IV, James T Sears
Queering Elementary Education is not about teaching kids to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight. Instead, these provocative and thoughtful essays advocate the creation of classrooms that challenge categorical thinking, promote interpersonal intelligence, and foster critical consciousness. Queering education means bracketing our simplest classroom activities in which we routinely equate sexual identities with sexual acts, privilege the heterosexual condition, and presume sexual destinies.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
James W. Loewen
This book brings history alive in all its complexity and ambiguity. Beginning with pre-Columbian history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, and the
My Lai massacre, Loewen offers an eye-opening critique of existing textbooks, and a wonderful retelling of American history as it should—and could—be taught to American students.

Holler If You Hear Me: The Education of a Teacher and His Students
Gregory Michie, Sandra Cisneros
Weaving back and forth between the author’s awakening as a teacher and the first-person stories of their students, this book paints an intimate and compassionate portrait of teaching and learning in urban America. While the popular notion of what it’s like to teach in city schools is dominated by horror stories and hero tales, the author and their students reside somewhere in between these extremes—”between the miracles and the metal detectors.”

The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities
Sonia Nieto
This book focuses on the significant role of teachers in transforming students’ lives. It considers recent theories, policies, and practices about the variability in student learning and culturally responsive pedagogy and examines the importance of student and teacher voice in research and practice.

Kwanzaa and Me: A Teacher’s Story
Vivian Gussin Paley
This is an odyssey undertaken on the wings of conversation and storytelling in which every voice adds new meaning to the idea of belonging, really belonging, to a school culture. Here are black teachers and minority parents, immigrant families, a Native American educator, and the children themselves, whose stories mingle with the author’s to create a candid picture of the successes and failures of the integrated classroom.

Closing the Opportunity Gaps: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance
Prudence L Carter, Kevin G Welner
While the achievement gap has dominated policy discussions over the past two decades, relatively little attention has been paid to a gap even more at odds with American ideals: the opportunity gap. This book offers accessible, research-based essays written by top experts who highlight the discrepancies that exist in our public schools, focusing on how policy decisions and life circumstances conspire to create the “opportunity gap” that leads inexorably to stark achievement gaps. They also describe sensible policies grounded in evidence that can restore and enhance opportunities.

Culturally Responsive Standards Based Teaching: Classroom to Community and Back
Steffen Saifer, Keisha Edwards, Debbie Ellis, Lena Ko, Amy Stuczynski
Teaching children from diverse backgrounds begins with learning who they are, then using the knowledge and culture students bring to school in a standards-based curriculum to achieve student success. This guide provides tools that show why and how to create culturally responsive, standards-based (CRSB) instruction in the classroom.

Courageous Conversations about Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools
Glenn E Singleton
This book explains the need for candid, courageous conversations about race so that educators may understand why achievement inequality persists and learn how they can develop a curriculum that promotes true educational equity and excellence.

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do
Claude M Steele
This book offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. The author sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

Born Out of Struggle: Critical Race Theory, School Creation and the Politics of Interruption
David Stovall
Offering important lessons about how to remain accountable to communities while designing a curriculum with a social justice agenda, the author explores the use of critical race theory to encourage its practitioners to spend less time with abstract theories and engage more with communities that make a concerted effort to change their conditions.

Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Beverly Tatum
Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? The author argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides.

These are data sources that include information about racial inequities across different metrics. This is not an exhaustive list and we welcome your suggestions for additions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a longitudinal survey collected annual since 1993. It includes a section called “reactions to race,” where it asks participants to identify their race and determine how other people identify and treat them on account of their race. BRFSS then offer a series of questions that probe at how often people think about their race and whether it affects their healthcare experiences.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also conduct the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a continuous health survey of about 87,500 individuals a year that has been conducted since 1957. The study records information on basic health as well as various health topics that change periodically as certain information is needed. The NHIS is the primary source of information on health and physical wellbeing in the U.S. Individual-level microdata is also available.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also hosts 500 Cities: local data for better health provides information on chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventative service use for the largest 500 cities in the U.S.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau provides data tools and other information on lending.

The Diversity and Disparities Project at the Spatial Structures in Social Sciences at Brown University provides measures of inequality for metro areas and cities throughout the U.S. including levels of residential, school, and income segregation.

The Food Access Research Atlas at the United Stated department of Agriculture provides information on food access at the census-tract level across populations. The data also provide various measures of supermarket accessibility.

The General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago is a longitudinal survey that has been collected every two years since 1972. It features data that cover a wide variety of social and political attitudes, opinions, and behaviors of U.S. adults. Many of these data are race-centered.

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data at the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council requires that financial institutions report data on home loans. This includes information on applicant demographic information, lender information, application materials, loan amounts, types of loans, and reason for denial of loan (when applicable). These data are geocoded by census track of the property that the loan is to be used for.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the largest repository for data on education in the U.S. The center includes information on K-12 school enrollment and achievement as well as patterns of college attainment and field of study.

The National Equity Atlas provides summarized data on race/ethnic diversity by state, region, and city in the U.S. across multiple measures of equity including wages, unemployment, education, and health.

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health at the Carolina Population Center at UNC, also known as Add Health, was initiated in 1994 by Congressional mandate to better understand health and risk behaviors, including personal traits, families, friendships, romantic relationships, peer groups, schools, neighborhoods, and communities. It is perhaps the most comprehensive survey of adolescents collected to date. The survey includes questions about social, economic, psychological and physical well-being and places each participant into a social context by asking about their family, community, and school.

The National Student Clearinghouse provides information on educational trajectories for students throughout the U.S., allowing researchers to determine rates of educational attainment by school of origin.

The National Archive of Juvenile Justice Data (NAJJD) is a data repository for research on criminal justice and juveniles. The NAJJD’s archive is run through the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan is the longest running longitudinal household survey that began in 1968 to measure employment, income, wealth, expenditures, health, marriage, childbearing, child development, philanthropy, education, and numerous other topics.

The Primary Care Service Area Project at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice provides data on proximity to primary care clinicians for individuals throughout the U.S. This dataset also includes information on primary care use among the elderly.

The Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation provides information on crime reported by local law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. Data are available for crime counts by city, county, state, and the nation.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics is the most comprehensive source of data for law enforcement and justice in the United States. BJS provides information on corrections, courts, crime, law enforcement, and victims of crime. Data is aggregated to varying geographical unit including municipality, zip code, and county.

The U.S. Census Bureau provides the most comprehensive source of demographic data in the United States. The Bureau runs multiple surveys. The Decennial Census and the American Community survey provide comprehensive socio-demographic information on the U.S. population. The Census of Governments reports information on public employment and state finance. Another survey run by the U.S. Census Bureau is the Economic Census which reports on businesses throughout the country. Data from the U.S. Census is available in various forms depending on the level of detail and unit of analysis.

Individual-level data geo-coded to PUMA (Public Use Microdata Area which generally follows county or country group boundaries) are available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

Census data aggregated to varying levels of geography are available through the National Historical Geographic Information System.

Data on specific geographical locations can be found on the Census Bureau data portal.

The Current Population Survey is a monthly survey of about 60,000 nationally representative households in the U.S. measuring labor force status, income, and socio-demographics. Individual-Level Data from the Current Population Survey is also available.

The Survey of Income and Program Participation consists of a series of nationally representative panels, each lasting an average of four years. This survey if often used to evaluate government program outcomes and includes a variety of information on economic wellbeing.

The Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons is taken every five years and collects sociodemographic and economic characteristics for business and their owners in the U.S.

The Annual Survey of State and Local Governments reports the revenue, expenditures, and assets for national, state, and local governments in the U.S.

These are data sources that include information about racial inequities across different metrics. This is not an exhaustive list and we welcome your suggestions for additions.

The Chicago Health Atlas maps health outcomes and resources by neighborhood and zip code across

The Chicago Data Portal at the City of Chicago is run by the city government and provides the largest set of publicly available administrative data for Chicago. The portal includes information on city administration, property, education, environment, health, crime, and transportation. Data is compiled from several departments, including the Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Parks District, and the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

The Chicago Public Schools website provides data on school enrollment, composition, performance, and student/teacher/parent/guardian surveys by school and city-wide.

The Citizens Policy Data Project provides information on complaints files towards Chicago police officers by race, gender, and age of both complainant and the accused officer. The project also provides information on the outcomes of complaints. Data are geo-coded by ward, police beat, and neighborhood.

The Illinois Report Card contains data on academic performance, school environment, and student composition for public schools in the state of Illinois.

The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University provides data on properties in the City of Chicago and surround counties. Property-level information is provided on foreclosures, property transfers, mortgages, delinquent property tax
sales, and other characteristics.