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Changemaker Fellows: Anti-Racist Pedagogy Learning Community

The heart of an anti-racist pedagogy is the intent to actively acknowledge and oppose racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life (Blakeney, 2005).

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UC San Diego is one of only 45 universities around the world to receive the prestigious designation of Changemaker Campus from Ashoka U, the world's largest network of social innovators who share inspiration, connections, and a desire to broaden the reach and impact of social innovation around the world (UC San Diego, 2021). 

UC San Diego embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion (UC San Diego, 2021); and through this embrace, is dedicated to a campus culture that respects perspective, background, and heritage (Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 2021). UC San Diego promotes opportunities for students to achieve academic success through inclusive and equitable practices. To that end, the Changemaker Fellows Anti-Racist Pedagogy Learning Community supports the university in fostering a more welcoming and supportive campus climate for faculty, staff, and students, specifically Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and minoritized students.

2021-2022 Call For Proposals


Visit the Changemaker Anti-Racist Fellowship call for proposals for faculty.

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Graduate Students

Visit the Changemaker Anti-Racist Fellowship call for proposals for graduate students.

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Program Overview

A learning community is an “intentionally developed community that exists to promote and maximize the individual and shared learning of its members. There is ongoing interaction, interplay, and collaboration among the communitys members as they strive for specified common learning goals” (Lenning et al., 2013, p. 7). 

The Changemaker Fellows Anti-Racist Pedagogy Learning Community brings together facilitators and fellows as co-learners in a mutually supportive environment where we will critically examine teaching practices through a racial equity lens and espouse anti-racist teaching practices to promote the well-being and learning of students, particularly Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and minoritized students.  

Facilitated by the Teaching + Learning Commons Engaged Teaching Hub, the anti-racist pedagogy learning community is grounded in literature on anti-racism and informed by the work of scholars of color. With the facilitators, fellows engage in readings, reflection exercises, and discussions designed to deepen our understanding of anti-racist pedagogy in the teaching and learning community. Fellows implement a project of their own design enacting anti-racist pedagogy in their class, department, or program, and receive up to $5,000 to support the project implementation.

Anti-Racist Pedagogy

When you choose in a particular moment to be anti-racist and to challenge that racist idea or policy, you're being anti-racist (Kendi, 2020). 

Antiracist researchers asks questions like, ‘What's wrong with policies?’ ‘What's wrong with conditions?’ ‘What's wrong with systems and structures?’ (Thompson, 2021).

Antiracist pedagogy includes explicit instruction on the history and continuation of racism…it has a critical praxis capable of creating a paradigm shift for students’ development of a critical consciousness and voice capable of explaining and denouncing racism (Blakeney, 2005).

Anti-racist teaching challenges the eurocentric curriculum and the apolitical and ahistorical approaches to education, discipline, and course materials. It pushes us to question what counts as legitimate knowledge, whose knowledge counts, and who has access to the knowledge (Collins, 2009 as cited by Kishimoto, 2018).


The curriculum is grounded in the work of scholars of color and is designed on three goals so that fellows deepened their understanding of and practice in anti-racist pedagogy:

  • Unpack the historical roots of educational inequity: What is the historical context of anti-Black racism locally and in U.S. education? How does systemic racism contribute to educational outcomes seen today, particularly at UC San Diego?
  • Understand our personal relationships with anti-Black racism and white supremacy: How has our socialization in a racist society contributed (in conscious and unconscious ways) to our identities as people and our choices as educators?
  • Enact anti-racist pedagogy in our classes and roles as educators: How can we create classroom experiences that challenge racist ideologies and begin to dismantle existing structures of oppression? What actions will we take to support the well-being of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and minoritized students at UC San Diego?

Learning Community Goals

The goals are to work together in community to:

  • Acknowledge, unlearn, and move against racism in higher education systems and practices that impact the educational experience of students of color, particularly Black students.
  • Support the academic and social experience of students of color and to build a social justice learning community.
  • Support fellows dedicated to anti-racist work and to strengthened a campus culture that welcomes and values diverse perspectives.
  • Enhance empathy and compassion in the context of education, particularly as it applies to building inclusive and equitable classroom environments.

Learning Community Commitment

Commitment to full participation and attendance is required for consideration as Changemaker Fellows Anti-Racist Pedagogy Learning Community. During the Fall quarter, fellows will deepen their understanding of anti-racism through various active learning activities. During the Winter quarter, fellows will be supported by the Engaged Teaching Hub while they work on an anti-racist related project to be implemented in the classroom, department, or as a program. Fellows must commit to the following timeline and activities to be considered for selection: 

Fall Quarter:

  • Complete summer assignments to prepare for the Fall quarter learning community and to inform the project.
  • Participate in and attend a half-day orientation in Fall quarter.
  • Participate in and attend the two-quarter learning community (Fall and Winter quarters) with meetings scheduled bi-weekly for 2 hours during the Fall quarter.
  • Complete assignments outside of the 2-hour meeting during the Fall quarter, which may average to 2-3 hours (i.e., journaling, reading, project research).
  • Participate in difficult conversations about race and interwoven social and political issues in the United States, in San Diego, and at UC San Diego.
  • Complete a proposed project and budget to be implemented in a class, department, or as a program.

Winter Quarter:

  • Work on a selected project that enhances a current course or develop a new anti-racist-focused course. The project can help to change department culture or policy, create a workshop, or program.
  • Meet with an Engaged Teaching and Evaluation & Research Assessment specialist for guidance and assessment on the anti-racist-focused project.
  • Meet monthly as a cohort to share progress, resources, and support.
  • Submit final project to Engaged Teaching Hub that will be implemented between Spring and Fall quarters.

Spring through Fall Quarters:

  • Fellows will receive continued support from the Engaged Teaching and Evaluation & Research Assessment Hubs to implement and assess their anti-racist project.

Application Submission

Fellows will provide directory information (i.e., name, email, and department), home department fiscal contact name and email, and index or project number and fund to transfer funds. Fellows will also answer short essay-style questions, certify commitment to the learning community, and provide a letter of support from their direct supervisor.

Project Guidelines

Fellows propose a project focused on anti-racist pedagogy that will be implemented between the following Spring and Fall quarters. Project guidelines include:

  • Summary and rationale of proposed project, including project goals and/or specific learning outcomes
  • Potential impact on student learning
  • Potential challenges you foresee this project may encounter 
  • Connection to campus or department issues/needs 
  • If your project links to an existing academic course, please include the name of the course
  • Expected project timeline

Fellowship Grant and Budget Proposal

Fellows must meet all learning community requirements to receive the fellowship grant of up to $5,000. The grant will be transferred in the fellow’s home department to support the implementation of the project.


Engaged Teaching Hub and invited educators will review timely submitted applications, extended to July 28, 2021, to select the next cohort of Changemaker Fellows Anti-Racist Pedagogy Learning Community. Selected fellows will be notified August 6, 2021.


Note: Schedule is subject to minor changes

Tentative schedule for 2021 Fellows



Application deadline

July 28, 2021

Review of applications

July 26 – 30, 2021 

Selected fellows are notified

August 6, 2021

Fall quarter program orientation (up to ½ day, in person)

September 17, 2021

Fall quarter program meeting
(bi-weekly meetings held online or hybrid)

Fridays 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

September 24, October 8 and 22, November 5 and 19, 2021

Fall quarter program ends

December 3, 2021

Fellowship funds transferred to faculty fellows’ department

At the end of Fall and Winter quarters

Winter quarter program starts

January 3 – 7, 2022

Winter quarter: Fellows will work on their individual projects and meet monthly as a cohort to share progress, resources, and support. Meeting times will be determined by cohort members.

January 3 – March 11, 2022

Final project due, including confirmed date of project implementation.

March 11, 2022


Blakeney, A. M. (2005). Antiracist pedagogy: Definition, theory, and professional development. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 2(1), 119-132.

Kendi, I. (2020). ‘Racism is death. Anti-racism is life.’ says author Ibram Kendi [NPR]

Kishimoto, K. (2018). Anti-racist pedagogy: From faculty self-reflection to organizing within and beyond the classroom. Race and Ethnicity, 21(4), 540-554. 10.1080/13613324.2016.1248824

Lenning, O. T., Hill, D. M., Saunders, K. P., Solan, A., & Stokes, A. (2013). Powerful learning communities: A guide to develop students, faculty, and professional learning communities to improve student success and organizational effectiveness. Stylus.

Thompson, K. (2021). Anti-racism’ Ibram Kendi thinks big: Why not equality right now? [USA Today].

UC San Diego. (2021). Ashoka U changemaker campus designation.

UC San Diego. (2021). Strategic plan.

UC San Diego. (2021). Office of equity, diversity, and inclusion.