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Racelighting in Utah education: counterstories across contexts

Maeve Wall (Department of Education, Culture, Society, College of Education, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
S. Shiver (Department of Education, Culture, Society, College of Education, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Sonny Partola (Department of Education, Culture, Society, College of Education, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Nicole Wilson Steffes (Department of Education, Culture, Society, College of Education, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Rosie Ojeda (Department of Education, Culture, Society, College of Education, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 5 December 2023

Issue publication date: 2 April 2024

42

Abstract

Purpose

The authors suggest strategies for addressing and combating these attempts at racelighting.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors of this article– five anti-racist educators working in various educational settings in SLC– employ the Critical Race Theory counter-story methodology (Delgado and Stefancic, 1993) to confront resistance to educational equity in Utah. They do so by first providing a historical context of race and education in Utah before presenting four short counterstories addressing the racelighting efforts of students, fellow educators and administrators when confronted with the complexities of racial injustice.

Findings

These counterstories are particularly important in light of the recent increase in color-evasive and whitewashed messaging used to attack CRT and to deny the existence of racism in the SLC school system in K-post-secondary education, and in the U.S. as a whole.

Originality/value

These stories are set in a unique environment, yet they hold national relevance. The racial and religious demographics in Utah shed light on the foundational ethos of the country – white, Christian supremacy. They reveal what is at stake in defending it and some of the key mechanisms of that defense.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the editors of this journal for their constructive feedback.

Citation

Wall, M., Shiver, S., Partola, S., Wilson Steffes, N. and Ojeda, R. (2024), "Racelighting in Utah education: counterstories across contexts", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 43 No. 3, pp. 495-515. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-11-2022-0328

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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