A social emotional learning (SEL) and diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) tool that cultivates a “me & we” mindset using questions and prompts to spark discussion. Like any DEI tool and training, we recommend that teachers experience the journal themselves, as a personal journal or in a group setting, before integrating it into classroom. This creates an embodied understanding and buy-in critical to the journal’s success. Contact us to inquire about facilitation trainings for teachers, journal & worksheet pricing options for schools, and resource guides that outline creative ways to integrate the questions into staff settings and classrooms.
Multiculturalism in Education: Summer 2019
Central Oregon Community College (COCC), Early Childhood Education Program
Stoke Your Woke was chosen as required curriculum for this course designed and intended for future educators. Professor Jackie Vance chose a set of questions for the term and students were assigned three questions to complete on their outside of class. This was a 1x a week, 2.5 hr evening class. At the beginning of each class, one of the questions that was assigned was chosen and the class used the journal’s facilitation model to share their thoughts and ideas.
Here are some reflections from students in the class:
“I really like this process. I have been picking random ones to do on the daily as well, it really makes you think and even come to terms on what you feel and want. I even find myself asking people these questions. It’s a good way to get to know people and a much deeper level. Overall I think it is a worth while activity that I will keep doing.”
“I did like this process because it makes you open your mind up to things that I have never paid attention to. I like how open ended they are. Everyone is able to answer with their opinions and thoughts. Although they are not directly related with education and children it opens the mind up to everything that a educator or someone working with children should be thinking about. I also liked how we are able to see others opinions and thoughts. I liked how we were able to "open up" to people that I hardly even knew, I felt connected with some people and that to me is so new and different. It was hard but by the third time sharing I felt more confident.”
“My process while writing in my journal was a bit slow and a struggle. These are topics I don’t really think about, so it was hard to even begin to start. I personally am not a very deep person, so that was also difficult for me to try to really dig deep in my heart and mind to write down some thoughtful answers. Even though I didn’t fully enjoy it, I still think it’s a great resource for you to use in your classroom. I could tell a lot of my other classmates had a great time writing in them and really opened up their feelings/thoughts.”
“When it comes to the journal, I liked the question of ‘What wisdom could our indigenous grandmothers offer?’ I was able to have many conversations with my great grandmother and great aunts before they passed of old age and it was fun for me to bring their memories to life again or think about how they would respond.”
Kerr Elementary School, Mesa, AZ
Amy Breitenbucher, principal of Kerr Elementary, received a copy of Stoke your Woke from her sister-in-law as a holiday gift. After using it as a personal journal and with family members she began to envision the journal as a potentially powerful tool for relationship-building with the adults in her school community. Located in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, AZ, Kerr Elementary serves a racially and economically diverse population. Acting as a ‘third thing’ to ask evocative questions, Amy envisioned the journal creating a new, engaging way for staff and parents to better understand one another and the community’s diverse perspectives, beliefs and needs.
To support this work, Amy purchased journals and paid to have a staff member trained in the Stoke Your Woke facilitation method. The image shows the Kerr Elementary staff receiving training in the Stoke your Woke facilitation method.
Community Questions at Deschutes Public Library
Stoke Your Woke hosts “Community Questions” through the Deschutes Public Library at multiple locations in Bend. Free to the public, this event creates a space for community members to walk in as strangers and walk away feeling reconnected to the people and place they live. Check the events page to see upcoming times and locations.
Here are some testimonials from this series:
"Carol and Casey do an amazing job creating community through conversation. Their skill at facilitating transformed a group of strangers into a circle of friends."
Liz Goodrich Deschutes Public Library, Program Coordinator
"Carol and Casey facilitated a process that was sacred safe and deep. I felt a sense of hope and community, and learned some new things about myself in a very gentle way."
Vicki Avila Community Questions Participant
Bend Senior High’s Design Justice Class
See the Need, Find a Solution: Stoke Your Woke made its way into Matt Fox’s Design Justice classroom of 26 high school students. The class serves as a laboratory for students to formulate ideas of how to engage in the world through design. Students identify their passions, translate that energy into a plan and then execute that plan out in the world.
Big Picture Thinking: We broke the class into 3 groups of 8-9 students and explored the question, “What is the most pressing issue in your community.” Themes around mental health, sustainability, climate change, social and emotional well-being, equity, ignorance and compassion all arose. One student was curious about how differently people defined community. Another expressed her urge to support a student when their sharing brought out emotions. We all agreed that sitting with those feelings during the course of the exercise was really challenging and taught us to notice our own discomfort.
Miss Blunda’s Third Graders at Seven Peaks School (Bend, OR)
Elementary Application: After building a relationship with the journal through her own personal work, Meredith Blunda, invited Carol and Casey to come into her 3rd grade classroom to do a question with her students. Using a modified “more than human world” question from the journal, the group explored: If you could talk to the earth, what would you say?
Writing & Drawing: The circle of 14 kids wrote and drew their thoughts on a specially designed worksheet for 10-12 minutes. Using the process, everyone who felt compelled to share did so using equitable sharing.
Equitable Sharing: Each student had 1 minute to share a piece of their writing with the group passing a “speaking stone” to the next person when they finished their turn. In keeping with the process, there was no response, only sharing. The group finished with a “takeaway question”, writing then sharing, of something they could do to show the earth how they feel.
Are you searching for engaging new curriculum for your school? Are you ready for a new way to hold rich conversations in your classroom?
We’d love to connect!