Formed in 2023, the Culture, Race, and Intersectionality (CRI) network of ICSEI welcomes inquiries and engagement in school effectiveness and improvement mediated by race, culture, and broader notions of intersectionality.
Developed from the work of ICSEI’s committee on Generational Renewal, Inclusion, and Diversity (GRID), the CRI network recognizes and affirms the intersectionality between race and culture as an integral and significant factor for improving the future of education. In human society, culture is broadly defined as the shared norms, beliefs, practices, ideas, philosophies, behaviors, and ideas shared among a group. Culture is continually shaped by human interaction and the conditions of lived experiences. Culture is continually shaped by the distribution of and access to material resources, opportunities, rights, laws, and privileges. The CRI network welcomes the inclusion of often marginalized cultural communities, such as, but not limited to, those who represent ability, linguistic, gender, and LGBTQIA+ diversity. Race is defined as a political and social construct that is fluid (National Human Genome Research Institute, 2023). Intersectionality encompasses the exchange and interplay across the two. The CRI network provides a dedicated space for scholars, practitioners, and advocates to investigate, understand, and challenge these constructs. The network also affords opportunities for participation in educational equity and inclusion and school effectiveness and improvement for students, families, and educators.
Rationale and Supporting Context
Current global population growth trends indicate an increase in racial and cultural diversity. By the year 2050, eight Asian and African countries (i.e., India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, and Uganda), along with the United States, will account for half of the world’s population growth (United Nations, 2015). One in four people will be African. Contemporarily, indigenous communities, and peoples of color reflect 80% of the global population to comprise people of the global majority or PGM (One, n.d). These trends call for conversations and dialogue that is centered around the intersectionality of culture, race, and diversity, which are significant in shaping students’ learning and development that foreground/include the experiences of the PGM.
The lived experiences of indigenous and peoples of color around the globe are not monolithic nor are their economic, political, historical, cultural, social, or spiritual conditions and traditions that have and continue to shape(d) school effectiveness and improvement across space and time. While some indigenous communities and peoples of color have experienced colonization, marginalization, and or (near) decimation, others have enjoyed dominance, resistance, and or permanence.
Holmes (2021) explains that culture shapes how we learn and problem-solve, as well as how we construct our self-concepts and experience emotions. She explains that many students around the world are placed in formal educational settings whereby they must negotiate the differences between their home cultures and those of their school environments. UNESCO (n.d.) recognizes that shifts in global challenges and opportunities such as migration, conflict and democratic backsliding, and digital transformation call for stronger synergy between culture and education. The organization led its member states in the development of a declaration affirming culture as a global good (UNESCO, 2022). To this end, directions taken by UNESCO underscore the need for greater intersectoral collaboration between the resources of education and culture for policy and practice to yield more agile, inclusive, and resilient societies.
The intersectionality of race and culture recognizes the unique and dynamic effects of lived experiences and schooling for many marginalized communities. The recognition of CRI helps to understand learners, their full identities across and within the interplay among markers such as female, lesbian, and indigenous. Intersectionality theory also serves as a framework to examine and respond to the systematic ways in which individuals and groups are disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression.
CRI will include network sponsored convenings during annual ICSEI Congresses, webinars and workshops between congresses, contributions to the ICSEI Dialogic, and other forms of information development and dissemination such as journal special issues and scholar/practitioner publications. Members are welcome to contribute to and propose network activities for engagement, scholarship, practice, and or advocacy.
Holmes, R. M. (2021). What role does culture play in shaping children’s school experiences? OUPblog.https://blog.oup.com/2021/02/what-role-does-culture-play-in-shaping-childrens-school-experiences/
National Human Genome Research Institute. (2023). Race. https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Race
PGM One (n.d.) People of the global majority in the outdoors, nature, and environment. https://www.pgmone.org/contact
UNESCO. (n.d.). Culture and Education. https://www.unesco.org/en/about-culture-education
UNESCO. (2022). MONDIACULT 2022: States adopt historic Declaration for Culture. https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/mondiacult-2022-states-adopt-historic-declaration-culture?hub=701
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015). World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables. Working Paper No. ESA/P/WP.241. https://population.un.org/wpp/Publications/Files/Key_Findings_WPP_2015.pdf