This lesson uses the metaphor of gardening to demonstrate the dynamics of various levels of racism.
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Download the following handout and make one copy for each student.
Clear ample room on your board for drawing for four large concentric circles (labeled internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and structural) This can be used to help students visualize the multidimensional system within the skit and also racism.
Ask students to volunteer to read the following roles in this skit:
The skit is a metaphor for the way the system of racism works. Below are questions to pose about how this story can help us understand the different dimensions of racism as a system. If you drew the concentric circle diagram, use this to help students visualize and keep track of their responses. Also be prepared to use additional metaphors and synonyms to ensure students understand the terminology.
(Internalized racism) We could go talk to the pink flowers and say, “Pink is beautiful! Power to the pink!” This might make the pink flowers feel better, but will this change the conditions in which they live?
(Interpersonal racism) We could go talk to the gardener and ask the gardener to not cut down the pink flowers. Will doing this create a lot of change in the lives of the pink and red flowers?
(Institutional racism) We could mix some rich soil into the pink box until it is as rich as the red flowers soil. How might this affect the lives of the pink and red flowers?
(Structural racism) We could break down the separate boxes and mix up all of the soil. How might this affect the lives of the pink and red flowers? How will doing this affect the other three dimensions of racism?
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Calling All Colors Curriculum | The Gardener