What Students Need to Know About Race and Racism before College: A Conversation between College Professors and High School History Teachers

Endorsed by the OAH Committee on Academic Freedom, the OAH Committee on Teaching, and the Western History Association

Saturday, April 1, 2023, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: Teaching and Pedagogy


What do college professors hope students will understand about race and racism before college? How might teachers equip students to engage with and enter into conversations on campus about race and equity? On the front lines of the new “history wars” attacking the teaching of race and racism in US History and defending “the West” in global studies, many high school history teachers hope to incorporate anti-racist, anti-colonial, equitable content and pedagogies into their courses. This roundtable provides an opportunity high school history teachers and college professors to align their expectations and share best practices.

Session Participants

Chair and Panelist: Christopher Clement, Harvard-Westlake School
Christopher Clement is a history teacher at a private school in Los Angeles. He was previously a member of the Political Science faculty at Virginia Tech and Pomona College and has taught courses on politics, history, and society for twenty years.

Panelist: April J. Mayes, Pomona College
April J. Mayes focuses her research on the Dominican Republic and teaches courses in Colonial Latin American history, Afro-Latin American history, women's and gender studies, and Africana studies. A graduate of Pomona College, Mayes was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship she used to examine Protestant women's social justice movements in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Ecuador. Afterwards, she attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where she earned a Ph.D. in history (2003), with an emphasis in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, gender, ethnicity and race in the Americas, comparative post-emancipation studies and anthro/history.

Panelist: David Lion Salmanson, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
David Lion Salmanson did his graduate work at the University of Michigan where he focused on racialized and gendered contestations of space, with particular attention to the American Southwest and began teaching high school in 2001. Since then, he's organized and presented panels for teachers on a variety of topics as a board member for the Multicultural Resource Center, presented on teaching and at AHA and the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) where he served on the education committee, and on twitter at #sschat. He can be found blogging about teaching and other things at http://benthamorfoucault.blogspot.com/