COVID-19 has increased the emphasis on social emotional learning (SEL) in our schools. Unfortunately, the current approaches to SEL can often perpetuate racial hierarchies, apply a deficit lens toward students, and emphasize the need for student-level change while ignoring the historical, social, and cultural influences that created and actively maintain oppressive environments through which students are required to navigate. Therefore, the authors offer an Antiracist Social Emotional Justice Learning (ASEJL) approach for educators to apply to promote freedom and justice for students through empowerment, hope, and joy. The AEJL approach emphasizes applying Critical Theoretical Frameworks, Anti-Bias Building Blocks, Student and Family Voice, Strengths Based Empowerment, and Homeplace to combat the current colorblind approach to SEL while cultivating the interests and talents of students and families from diverse backgrounds.
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