ABOUT me & UPSTANDER
Hi! My name is AL Liou, and I used to be a sixth grade science teacher.
As a first year teacher, I was often confronted with microaggressions in the classroom and didn't know what to do or how to respond. I would then think about what my student or colleague said all day, until hours or days later when an appropriate response would come to me. Sometimes the responses wouldn't come at all! And with the demands of teaching, I didn't often have time to prioritize looking up help. Diversity & Inclusion professional development came about twice a year at my school, and was only possible through the tireless advocacy of passionate educators whose plates were already too full.
I created Upstander while I was a student at Harvard Graduate School of Education, as a tool that teachers can use to practice their high-stakes responses to microaggressions in a low-stakes environment, either by themselves or in community with other educators. As teachers, we know that our responses to micro- and macroaggressions around race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and other systems of oppression are formative for our students' understanding about how we ought to care for others and how the world around us. This tool is my personal passion project.
As such, Upstander is also a work-in-progress and by no means perfect. For instance, each of the scenarios are grouped into decks, although many of them are intersectional issues that could easily belong to multiple decks. My suggestions and resources may only be a sliver of what you're looking for, and they will reflect my blind spots, as I am (and will always be) on my journey to becoming an anti-racist educator, too. Think of Upstander as a catalyst along your own journey. Thank you for your interest in Upstander and improving your practice-- and for the work you do in service of young people!
Please email me any suggestions, questions, or resources you have for Upstander and I will try to respond and/or incorporate your feedback.