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We Must Say No to the Status Quo

Educators as Allies in the Battle for Social Justice

Learn how to become a powerful, effective ally for marginalized students so you can challenge the barriers, practices, and beliefs that diminish opportunities for many students.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506345345
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2017
  • Page Count: 264
  • Publication date: February 14, 2017

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
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It takes more than good intentions to make meaningful change

The “spirit slashing” of injustice: that’s what Veronica McDermott calls the psychic toll that marginalized students face every day. Students can be marginalized because of race, economic status, language, sexual orientation, ability, or other factors. So how can you make a difference? McDermott, a longtime educator, gives you the tools to become a powerful ally. You’ll learn how to:

  • Better understand the depth and breadth of injustice so you can pierce the fog of privilege and embrace ally-hood
  • Fill the gap between your desire to eliminate injustice and the attitudes and skills required to be effective
  • Leverage your natural strengths, including your disposition, educational training, and professional position
  • Challenge the structural barriers, practices and beliefs that diminish opportunities for many students

Working for social justice is a journey, and it’s one that you—and your students— can take together.

“Educators will find in this book a heart-felt, honest, uncompromising tour de force.”
—Yvette Jackson, Senior Scholar
National Urban Alliance for Effective Education

“This book illuminates a clear pathway for transforming our consciousness and our practice in the service of equity and social justice.”
—Gary Howard, Author of We Can’t Lead Where We Won’t Go

Key features

  • Written with the express purpose of filling the gap that exists between educators’ desire to address injustice and the attitudes and skill sets required to be effective in this arena. . It of helping educators to become effective allies in the struggle for educational equity and social justice.
  • Takes an assets-based approach by underscoring the assumption that educators are predisposed to becoming powerful allies for social justice by virtue of their dispositions, professional preparation, and role-associated standing
  • Includes a variety of powerful vignettes that illustrates how school environments address the myriad forms of injustice experienced by those on the margins
  • Includes thought provoking activities suitable for use in multiple professional learning settings


Veronica McDermott photo

Veronica McDermott

Veronica McDermott, Ph.D., is a retired school superintendent who continues to focus her efforts on school transformation, social justice, and equity. She is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop leader at national and international conferences devoted to issues of leadership and learning for equity and social justice. She is the author of many articles, chapters and opinion pieces, as well as co-author of two books designed to change the way educators think about, talk about and interact with our students who are not thriving.

Dr. McDermott received her Ph.D. from New York University, a professional diploma from Long Island University, and her Masters and Bachelor degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In addition to being superintendent of schools, she has served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction; principal; district director of English Language Arts, Reading, Second Language and ESL; and English teacher. She was also a regional director with a national professional development organization that provided high-quality, embedded learning experiences for urban educators.

Her legacy project is to eradicate the crime of squandered potential.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author



1. What Is White Privilege?

2. Developing Social Justice Literacy

3. Privilege, Power, Politics and Schooling

4. Overcoming Avoidance, Guilt, Feelings of Inadequacy, and Misunderstanding

5. Acknowledging the Social and Psychological Toll of Continued Injustice

6. You Can’t ‘Un-see’ What You Have Seen


7. Embracing Dissonance

8. Tactics of Deception and Flawed Theories

9. Troubling the Dominant Narrative

10. Silence Is Not an Option

11. Change the Culture? Change the Conversation


12. The Importance of Allies

13. False Starts, Missteps and Minefields

14. Reflection, Resources, Resilience and Position

15. The Many Faces of Activism in Action


List of Activities and Figures





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.