Letter from Pete re: Ta-Nehisi Coates' Important New Book

Dear ICE Families -

I hope all is well with everybody.  I am writing today as I think about how to develop and improve our ability to engage in powerful and transformative discussion in and outside of school.  This year parents and teachers separately have shared their thinking about adolescent sexuality, students are discussing sexual harassment and gender identity, and now a small group of teachers have started to identify our best practices for discussing race and racism, both of which appear in our curriculum at nearly every age level.

After the Winter Break ICE teachers will begin a training exercise with the group Border Crossers who will help us learn and develop an approach to discussing race and racism in all of our classrooms.  As part of this process I have purchased each teacher Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, to help us frame a staff discussion about racism in the United States, and how we are all affected.

In order to support our community's discussion of racism, I would love to organize a book group, or several, around the discussion of Coates' book.  At this time, if you or your child would like to be part of a discussion group, please reach out to me directly. One way you can support this process is to participate in a group and another way is to donate or purchase a copy for student participants.

As always, I consider this initiative fundamental to the well-being of our community, and all the individuals who comprise it. The training, and the discussions it inspires are meant to give all of us an improved capacity to discuss racism in productive ways inside the classroom. We all have a role to play here, and I hope you will join me and support ICE with your input, however great or small.

My best to you and your families, and I hope you all enjoy the upcoming Mid-Winter break.


Peter Karp


Institute for Collaborative Education

212 475 7972