Embracing anti-racist pedagogy and UDL in the classroom  

By Nadia Richards

As George Brown College’s Manager of Anti-Racism Integration and a member of the Anti-Racism and Equity Advisory Committee, I am committed to helping infuse anti-racism into everything we do – from the ways we treat each other and our students, to the ways in which we educate.  

Nadia Richards, Manager, Anti-Racism Integration

I view anti-racism and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as complementary pedagogical practices that together allow educators to challenge deep rooted issues of racism while ensuring students engage, learn, and grow. 

As a way of demonstrating the value of drawing from both practices, I’ve written a first-hand account of my personal experiences as a student, and then later as an educator. As you’ll see, I went from flourishing at school to falling behind – and much of this shift was a result of how my teacher engaged with me as a racialized child.   

I encourage you to read the piece and think about how anti-racist pedagogy complements the following principles of UDL – and how we can live these principles every day at George Brown.  

  1. Means for Engagement: engaging learners in different ways, while providing for a space in which they have autonomy over their learning journey. 
  1. Means of Representation: ensuring learners receive content to which they can closely relate (i.e., culturally relevant content). 
  1. Action and Expression: providing learners with the space and opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in various ways. 

When we embrace these complementary practices, the possibilities for educators, students and institutions are limitless. 

Nadia Richards is the Manager of Anti-Racism Integration at the Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services (OAREHRS). She recently created George Brown’s Take 5 for Anti-Racism tool.