Inspiring Person: Liz Kleinrock, Teaching Tolerance Award Winner

This week Marabou is highlighting people who inspire them hoping that you’ll be inspired too!

Today, Marabou is thinking about Liz Kleinrock and her thoughtful work with elementary school children addressing race, privilege, and contemporary issues including immigration and LGBTQ rights. Liz won the 2018 Teaching Tolerance Award.

In a video about her work Liz said,

“I think it really does our students a disservice if we pretend children don’t know about these things [racism, political policies, etc.] and aren’t curious about these topics because kids are exposed to the exact same things adults are whether or not we want to admit it. If you can’t talk about race comfortably, how are we ever going to end systemic racism in our country? And I think it’s really important to have these conversations with children because they have this very clear, pure, less-biased way of looking at the world where they haven’t learned that these topics are things they should be afraid of. So they’re more willing to sit down and have a conversation about it.”

It’s easy to see why Liz is so inspiring. Marabou particularly likes that Liz is challenging the idea that children are too young/won’t understand/aren’t ready to have discussions around race, privilege, and inequality. If anything, children are more ready that adults. Through her Instagram account, @teachandtransform and website, Liz shares her tools and classroom work, which can be applied beyond the elementary classroom and adapted to equity and anti-bias work of all types.

Below are two posts Marabou particularly likes from Liz’s Instagram. The first shows a journal prompt for her 3rd Grade class, “What would you say to grown ups who thing 3rd graders are too little to learn about things like race, enslavement, and current events?” Swipe/click through to see her students’ responses.

The second is her “Lenses for Reading History.” Marabou thinks these questions should be applied when going through a museum exhibition.


Thank you, Liz!


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