In 2016, DOM engaged in constructive discourse with teachers, parents, and students to come up with creative tools showing how to implement social-emotional learning strategies in schools and at home.
After six years and dozens of training, forums, and workshops, a combination of the DOM team and thought leaders in education came together to design the Black SEL (Trademark logo) HUB. The HUB aims to highlight the voices of Black SEL practitioners and share resources to further the field in order to sustain social-emotional learning practices in Black communities.
Why Black SEL
The current education system is dominated by political narratives that devalue the very people that our schools are supposed to serve. Students, teachers, administrators, and staff are left underpaid and under-supported while scapegoated for the systemic problems facing these institutions.
More specifically this manifests in students, disproportionately Black and other marginalized identities being suspended and over disciplined, teachers burning out and left without tools to manage classrooms, and administrators forced to defend curriculum choices or mask policy while navigating public pressure of critical race dialogue or health policy that does not center the people in their building.
Black SEL was launched to intervene in these systems disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline through providing needed skills and resources for school communities.
CULTURALLY RELEVANT, RESEARCH-BASED, SEL RESOURCES MATTER, ESPECIALLY FOR BLACK YOUTH DURING THIS CHALLENGING TIME!
Over a two-year period, Dangers of the Mind connected with over 916 Black and Brown students through a survey, 600 parents, 75 teachers, and 4 superintendents to understand needs in their communities. We heard an overwhelming need for shared resources and community to build a school culture that affirms Black and other marginalized students.
Through this research, we learned about how students would like to be engaged and the types of resources that leaders inside school buildings need to better support marginalized students. Based on this insight, Dangers of the Mind Education Fund launched Black SEL.
The Black experience in the united states in the western world is based on historical and systemic racism from slavery, colonization, and Jim crow AND one of reSELience from building social movements, cooperative economic structures, and culture that prioritizes and heals Black people.
Black SEL is about acknowledging the ways that SEL competencies have been present in black communities long before the designation or study of social-emotional learning. Black SEL uplifts and cultivates decades of community and ancestral wisdom to transform black communities and schools to provide dignity and equity inside these institutions.