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 While watching the Netflix movie  “When They See Us”  by Ava DuVernay, the hideous injustice validated the need for  a culturally relevant pedagogy  in defeating stereotype threat in  and outside of the gymnasium in our educational institutions. As effective educators we must understand the disproportionate discipline of minority students.  Students in our urban  schools have seen this drama played out in their neighborhoods daily. If we are to educate the whole school, whole community and whole child, then we must reach out to our students and parents  in ways that are culturally and linguistically responsive and appropriate.  We must examine the cultural assumptions and stereotypes we bring into the gymnasiums and classrooms that may hinder interconnectedness between our students and parents. We must  train and provide students and parents as well as stakeholders professional development on stereotype threat, bias, and culture in order to understand that it  isn’t just a list of holidays or shared recipes, religious traditions, or language; it is a lived experience unique to each one of our students. Subsequently, this will provide the antidote to the violence, poverty and growing cultural disconnect hindering  our student’s success.

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