Anti-Racist DEI Best Practices

IDEAS Graduate Course through Framingham State University:

Anti-Racist DEI Best Practices


  • 30-hour graduate course, 2 credits from Framingham State University.
  • Consists of nine sessions conducted online via Zoom, January 2024 – May 2024 on the following Thursdays from 4:00pm – 7:00pm:
    • January 4th & January 25th
    • February 15th
    • March 14th
    • April 11th & April 25th
    • May 9th, May 16th & May 23rd
  • This course is open only to educators who have been accepted into the Certificate Program in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Anti-Racism.
  • In order to take this course, educators must already have completed IDEAS 1, or be taking IDEAS 1 concurrently.
  • This course is offered only once per year. 

To register for this course, please contact Dana Mullaley:


Anti-Racist DEI Best Practices is an online, synchronous course offered only to those enrolled in the Certificate Program. There are 9 modules with different instructors, totaling 30 hours. Participants will increase knowledge and skills in anti-racist education, including:

  • Developing Anti Racism Initiatives
  • Decolonizing Conversations & Curriculum
  • Developing Diversity Initiatives
  • Equity
  • Inclusion/ Including Marginalized Voices
  • Increasing Knowledge
  • Including Caring and Belonging
  • Including Current Research


  • Educators will strengthen their ability to:
  • Balance leading and supporting initiatives (e.g., being a “thought partner”) 
  • Facilitate anti-racist, diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies for a school district and its leadership teams
  • Build capacity by constructing appropriate district resources (e.g., training for staff, diversifying pipeline, troubleshooting role, etc.)
  • Model communication skills for difficult conversations in the district (e.g., being a “moral compass”)
  • Develop considerations for budgets and legal responsibilities which affect DEI work


Session TopicsInstructorInstructor
Overview, Review, and Introductions;
Tribal Land Acknowledgements
Claudia Fox Tree
IDEAS Instructor
Special Education Teacher
Lincoln (Middle) School, Lincoln, MA
Rebecca Smoler
IDEAS Instructor
ELA Coordinator 6-12
Sharon Public Schools, Sharon, MA
Professional DevelopmentJohnny Cole
IDEAS Instructor
Director of Equity & Student Supports
Lexington Public Schools, Lexington, MA
Rebecca Smoler
IDEAS Instructor
ELA Coordinator 6-12
Sharon Public Schools, Sharon, MA

Equity Hiring and Retention

Leslie C. Smart
IDEAS Instructor
METCO Director
Sudbury Public Schools, Sudbury, MA
Ed Byrne
IDEAS Instructor
Deputy Director, Economic Justice Program
Babson College, Wellesley, MA

Supporting Students

Dawn Shearer Coren
IDEAS Instructor

JoAnne Kazis
IDEAS Instructor
Elementary School Teacher, Newton, MA

Data Analysis and Applications

Margaret Credle Thomas
IDEAS Instructor
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director
Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, MA
Jennifer Wolfrum
IDEAS Instructor
Health Teacher/Administrator (Retired) 
Lexington High School, Lexington, MA
Legal Issues and Legal History

Leslie C. Smart
IDEAS Instructor
METCO Director
Sudbury Public Schools, Sudbury, MA
Patrick Larkin
IDEAS Instructor
Dean, Arts & Humanities Bldg
Lexington High School, Lexington, MA
Panel of Practitioners 
(3-4 educators currently engaged in DEI work)

Karen Thomsen
IDEAS Program Director

Dr. Paula S. Martin
IDEAS Instructor
Adjunct Professor
Quinsigamond Community College
Worcester, MA
Jen Dirga
IDEAS Instructor
School Counselor
Chestnut Hill School, Chestnut Hill, MA

Panel with 3-4 current Superintendents

Rod MacNeal
IDEAS Instructor
Head of School
The Chestnut Hill School, Chestnut Hill , MA
Karen Thomsen
IDEAS Program Director


Attendance at every session is mandatory. Students are expected to attend every session on time; however, we recognize that emergencies occur. In the event of an emergency, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor(s) if they will be late to class. Instructors will use their discretion, in consultation with IDEAS, to determine whether missing hours may be made up and how that will happen. The policy around dropping a class is that IDEAS must know 2 weeks in advance of the start of the course in order to avoid being billed (this may change if waiting list participants are able to enroll).


Class members and the instructors share the responsibility for creating a positive and challenging learning environment. Given the intensive nature of the class time, you are encouraged to make yourself as comfortable as possible within the confines of the classroom. Risk-taking and sharing of difficult situations/topics are encouraged. To this end, confidentiality at all times is expected to assure and protect the integrity of shared personal experiences. In this way, participants are encouraged to strive to challenge themselves to share thoughts, feelings, observations, reflections and questions with others.

  • Work must follow the suggested lesson/learning experience format distributed by the module instructors. 
  • Participants may work collaboratively with permission from module instructors.
  • Projects must contain a reference list or bibliography. All outside sources must be cited.
  • Projects must include good grammatical structure and be publishable quality, including typed or computer-printed.
  • Projects are due one week following the particular module.


  • Module Assignments (80%)
  • Class Participation (10%)
  • Integration of Readings (10%)


Integrity is essential to academic life. Consequently, students who enroll at Framingham State University agree to maintain high standards of academic honesty and scholarly practice. They shall be responsible for familiarizing themselves with the published policies and procedures regarding academic honesty. Academic honesty requires but is not limited to the following practices: appropriately citing all published and unpublished sources, whether quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise expressed, in all of the student’s oral and written, technical, and artistic work.

To register for this course, please contact Dana Mullaley:
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