ScholarStrike Activity for FWS Instructors

Inequality explanation using a tree as a metaphor


Inspired by the bold efforts of the WNBA, NBA, and Colin Kaepernick and other athletes, UPenn Professor Anthea Butler and Grand View University Professor Kevin Gannon this week organized Scholar Strike:

an unprecedented action, where highly-skilled and well-paid workers withheld their labor, reflected not only the athletes’ solidarity, but the failure of our governments—local, state, and national—to reckon with the tragic enormity of racist violence besetting, in particular, the Black community in the United States.

On Tuesday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 9 college and university faculty, staff, graduate students, and administrators across the US and Canada chose to opt out of professional activities to think about or engage directly in anti-racist work and to advocate for racial justice for BIPOC.

My goals in this post are to bring more people into the conversation and to bring people more deeply into the conversation.

The organizers of Scholar Strike have quickly mobilized to compile resources, develop teach-in/teaching materials, and create opportunities for collaboration. I have included links to some of these resources below.


I have also included a 60-minute guided activity designed to prompt FWS instructors and other teachers to think and write about equity and justice and anti-racist pedagogy in higher education and in First-Year Writing Seminars specifically.




  • Respond: Spend 5 minutes reacting to and writing about each of the following:
    • the video
    • the image pasted above
    • anti-racism/anti-racist pedagogy
  • Apply: Spend 15 minutes writing about the following questions:
    • Look at your FWS materials and identify one way in which your course enacts principles and practices of anti-racist pedagogy.
    • Look again at your FWS materials and think about one way in which your course can (better) enact principles and practices of anti-racist pedagogy.
    • Now do some writing: How is teaching for equity/justice a unique opportunity for FWS instructors?


Let’s work together to keep the momentum sparked by Scholar Strike going and make the choice, each day, to carve out time for anti-racist work.

Tracy Hamler Carrick


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