Education leaders can now choose a pro-unity, no-shaming pedagogy to address racism and other forms of discrimination. Moral Courage ED is launching “Diversity Without Division: Introducing Educators to the Moral Courage Method.” The online, self-paced course teaches high school educators an innovative framework that transcends the Us-against-Them culture wars.
“The Moral Courage Method is a powerful strategy for reconciliation in polarized times. It opens hearts in order to open minds,” says Dr. Rajni Shankar-Brown, endowed chair of social justice education at Stetson University.
Led by the bestselling author and Oprah award-winner Irshad Manji, the Moral Courage Method is a research-backed, road-tested approach to turning contentious issues into constructive conversations.
“Never before have I seen free speech and social justice so seamlessly brought together,” says Mike Yates, senior managing director at Teach for America’s Reinvention Lab. “‘Diversity Without Division’ shows that to be innovative, we have to be inclusive not only of different people but also of divergent views. After all, innovation happens through a diversity of perspectives and the skills to discuss them with empathy.”
The course stars high school students who experience “Aha!” moments as they navigate controversial issues through the Moral Courage Method. Unlike mainstream anti-racism efforts, the Moral Courage Method:
- Builds trust by starting with what we share before exploring how we differ.
- Illustrates the science of fear and the role that our brains play in making us feel defensive.
- Defines diversity to include different viewpoints because understanding others is crucial to be being understood.
- Reveals that power is situational, not static, so any of us can have it in a given context.
Upon completing “Diversity Without Division,” educators become eligible to train as Moral Courage Mentors. Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights, an academic partner of Moral Courage ED, will certify mentors starting in fall 2022.
“Our intention,” Manji explains, “is to build a global community of Moral Courage Mentors who help young people resist the seductive either/or mindset. When we teach with a both/and lens, we liberate the possibilities for truly inclusive change. That’s education at its best.”