At the outset of the 2020 school year, Noble set a bold and ambitious goal of becoming a more antiracist organization. Since then, Noble announced our anti-racism commitment (ARC), we engaged thousands of families in surveys and feedback to guide a reexamination of policies and practice. Since February, grounded in that feedback from parents, students, staff, and alumni, ARC design teams have been meeting to guide the way forward on Noble policy and practice as it relates to our student code of conduct, uniform, promotion and graduation requirements, curriculum design and more. Those design teams then shared draft proposals with groups of Noble stakeholders for intensive feedback – hundreds of Noble family members, staff, students, and alumni engaged in these refine team spaces. This post is part of a series of updates on that work in progress.
AP U.S. History and AP Government & Politics teacher at Pritzker College Prep + ARC Committee Member
Josh Sosa is an AP U.S. History and AP Government & Politics teacher at Pritzker College Prep where he also coaches cross country and track teams and works on the Noble-wide Innovation Collaborative. Josh graduated from Noble’s Pritzker College Prep campus in 2012. Josh has served on the DEI Steering committee and in that role participated in a number of refine team spaces to provide input and feedback to improve policies and practices.
We sat down with Josh to discuss his role in the ARC design and refine work this year:
Q. Can you describe the ARC work you’ve been engaging in this year?
A. Transformative. I feel so humbled to be working on this anti-racist project with the Network. While we have had many difficult, messy conversations, they were all worth it and necessary in order to push us where we need to go.
Q. How did you decide this was the right type of work for you?
A. Because there were aspects of Noble that were not okay. In particular, many of our practices and policies were racist. At times, I came up against these systems and was always convinced that I was in the wrong or not a “team player.” Through means of normalization and assimilation, my voice was silenced. So when there was a chance to right all of our wrongs, I was excited to be heard.
Q. Can you share any piece of the work that you are particularly proud of?
A. Unfortunately, I cannot choose one part of the work that I am proud of; however, I am really proud of the profound effect that the ARC statement has had on all the entities that make up Noble whether academics and instruction to safety and operations, and beyond. Instead of molding the ARC statement to these systems and structures, we are doing the opposite and revamping old ways of thinking and doing things.
Q. If you could paint a picture of what this work looks like when successfully implemented, what would it look like (in a classroom, on a department team, in practice)?
A. Personally, I was inspired by the work we were doing that I decided to revamp Pritzker’s US History Curriculum. While I am by no means finished, my counterpart and I are rethinking what, why, and how we were teaching history. Next year, our curriculum will decenter whiteness and highlight and celebrate marginalized histories.
Q. Why do you think this ARC work is so important?
A. If we really want to be an Anti-racist institution, we must have a plan and a system of accountability. In addition, we are a school of schools and we need to be on the same page in order to ensure that we are truly being equitable.
Take a more in-depth look via our monthly updates – also in our monthly e-newsletter –
Antiracist Organization Monthly Updates
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