Are you ready to move from theory to action? 

One of the questions asked at the lunch and learn was, “how do you deal with teachers who are resistant to buying into and valuing culturally relevant pedagogy?”

Dr. Ladson-Billings reminds us that everyone does not have to agree or get on board to get started. She suggests we have a planned approach to innovation.

In order to help you in that process, here are your first 3 steps to get moving:


Make a  list of people who could potentially serve on a district-wide, school, or area innovation team focusing on culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP).

  • 2 admins
  • 2 teachers
  • 2 students
  • 2 community members
  • 2 parents

However, what you really need is people who want to do this work. As Dr. Jonathan Smith from St. Louis University states, we want good people, who do good work, for the right reasons. It literally could be one other person if that is all you have available. If you are a teacher, it could be just another D.O.P.E.* teacher. If you are a parent or community members, it could be other D.O.P.E.* parents or community members. Remember, you don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.
*Designers of Opportunities Pushing Excellence

Choose people who:

  • Focus on strengths of students (as opposed to weaknesses)
  • See potential, the genius, in even the most difficult child
  • Look for solutions rather than complaining about problems
  • Understand how race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other forms of marginalization influence the schooling process for students, parents, and communities. They don’t have to be experts, but they do have to be open and want to gain a deeper understanding of this work. In fact, these people are already seeking more knowledge to understand how oppression plays out in schools
  • View and teach students to resist and transcend oppression and work toward social justice. They may not be doing this, but want to do it and just don’t know how and/or didn’t think they could do this work in school
  • Practice being the work, versus just doing the work


Determine a date to have your first innovation meeting.


Define Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

  • CRP is a pedagogy that empowers students individually and collectively, intellectually, socially, culturally, emotionally, and politically.
  • CRP is rooted in how we think about the social contexts, students, curriculum, instruction.
  • Click here for Dr. Ladson-Billings short article, Yes But How Do We Do it: Practicing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

Discuss the purpose of the team – set the mission

  • Set goals for the district, school, classes, or whoever is on the team, for 1, 3, and 5 years out
  • Determine regular meeting schedule of team

If you need help with moving your school, district, organization, or team along, let Liberated Genius help.

Contact us at We have an entire roster of 20+ geniuses ready to help you liberate the genius in your organization.

Want to hear the words of Dr. Ladson-Billings again?
Catch the Facebook Live video and share it: Here and Here

Did you purchase a ‘BE D.O.P.E.’ t-shirt? Next time you wear it, take a picture of yourself in it and tag us on social media like this guy: Aaron Manfull, Francis Howell North High School Journalism Adviser

Want to give a testimonial about your experience at the Lunch and Learn and it’s influence and/or impact? Create a video, upload it and tag us on social media. Or contact Dr. April directly; this will give you another a reason to hang out and spend some quality time together.

Complete your We-Source List for your school or organization! The idea is to identify the genius in your own community. And share the list with us. If you didn’t turn yours in, or want to add to it, just email us the information. There is so much genius in St. Louis, that this literally could be colossal. Let’s create it!

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