Rebellion by Design: Anti-Racism and UDL

Activities & Lessons


Social Justice & Student Voice



4 days.

Prepared for Conference to Restore Humanity! 2023 by Andratesha Fritzgerald

August 2023

An illustrated image of a document with link symbol.

printable / Google Document


Access variations of this resource:


required resources


An illustrated image of a DJ set with someone scratching.


download resource

No remixes are available yet for this resource!

submit a remix

Make an edit? Your input and designs create human-centered practices which fuel our movement for change. Upon approval, your credited remix will be published under a Creative Commons license.

Blend together and understand the framework of universal design for learning (UDL) and anti-racism.

video overview

overview & purpose

This course offers a comprehensive exploration of anti-racism principles intertwined with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. Participants will learn to create inclusive educational environments by leveraging UDL strategies while fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion through anti-racist practices.

No items found.

educator notes

lesson / activity

Part 1: Defining before Designing


Racial Equity Tools


Accountability Builders

Personal Reflections

Advice for New Social Justice Educators: “I Wish I Had Known”

Understanding Racism

Expanding Our Awareness with Dr. Deborah L. Plummer

NFL Appraisal

Design for a Welcoming and Affirming Environment

UDL Guidelines

Sharing Stories

Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning Webinar


Racial equity work is built on a foundation of accountability.  This accountability requires a shared understanding of critical definitions. After reviewing the materials, what are some definitions that you struggle with or can expound upon?  

How do you define racial equity?  What has been your personal level of accountability with racial outcomes?  As you reflect on the design of educational systems in America, what do you wish you would have known earlier in your educational journey?  

What are ways that schools have caused humiliation to Black learners? What are ways that school have caused humiliation to learners who have been traditionally and historically marginalized?  What design elements must be present to hold our systems accountable and build for excellence with learners who have been traditionally and historically marginalized?

Support cannot be one size fits all.

Instruction cannot be one way or no way.

Assessment cannot be built for just one set of skills.  

Part 2: From Definitions to Decisions


Antiracism is a series of choices

How to Embed Antiracism into Universal Design for Learning on Leading Equity Podcast with Sheldon Eakins

High Expectations

James Baldwin’s ABC Interview, 1979

Cult of Pedagogy - If Equity is a Priority, UDL is a Must

Wheel of Power and Privilege by Sylvia Duckworth

How Ibram X. Kendi’s Definition of Anti Racism Applies to Schools

Clint Smith’s Ode to the Only Black Kid in the Class

Poem and the explanation


Decisions - Have you decided to pursue the path of antiracism? What was your point of decision?  Indecision is also a decision.  

Is your decision of being an antiracist educator evident in your design?  In your planning, support, pedagogical decision making, instruction and assessments is racism a barrier that you are designing to both eliminate and eradicate in your teaching?  What does that look like for you?  

Standing against racism means that we stand against oppression in any form. How is the status quo disturbed because of your decisions?  

How are engagement and high expectations connected to antiracism in your decision and design?  Define engagement.  How does your learning community define engagement and high expectations?  Are those definitions shared by learners?  Crafted by learners?

Part 3: From Decisions to Destinations


In the Article How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace by Robert Livingston, zoom into the graphic - A Road Map for Racial Equity


Honor As Power: The Practical Keys to Antiracist Teaching by Andratesha Fritzgerald

Responding Systematically to Racial Inequity In Schools

White Institutional Statuses and Examples Chandler and Ward

Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning - Andratesha Fritzgerald as a guest on The Balance with Catlin Tucker

Race in the Classroom: Seeing Color by Valyn Lyric Turner

Supporting Black Students When They are Further Traumatized in School by Donna Ford


Robert Livingston’s article says, “Understanding an ailment’s roots is critical to choosing the best remedy.”  

Take some time to walk through his road map:

Do I understand what the problem is and where it comes from? Do I care (enough) about the problem and the people it harms?  Do I know how to correct the problem and am I willing to do it?  

Listening is key to antiracist instruction.  How are you using your power to honor learners?  Is there intentional listening built into your design?  

What stage of development best describes your learning institution?  How is there a push for change?  Describe your personal connection to accountability, engagement, decision making and design.  How are these actions linked to anti-racism and anti-oppression instructionally, institutionally, and societally?  

Merging Universal Design for Learning and Antiracism takes both intention and effort.  Review your decision and design to see where engagement, representation and action/expression can tear down the barrier of racism in your pedagogical and instructional decisions.  

Part 4: From Destination to Rebellion


How Universal Design for Learning helps students merge onto the ‘learning expressway

Equity in Our Schools: A Pretty Little Lie

Creating a Culture of Radical Candor in Schools Can Help Address Inequities by Mirko Chardin and Katie Novak

UDL Flowchart

Draw on Students Culture to Shape Curriculum and Instruction

Yale Poorvu Center Considerations for Antiracist Teaching

Humanity, Healing and Doing the Work by Crystal L. Keels

Donald Black Jr’s articulation of how racism impacts his art.

View some of his images in a series entitled, “Keep Your American Dream.”

Taking a Stand Against Discriminatory School Policies by Kwame Sarfo-Mensah

Who Needs to Change? Excerpt From Black Boys Movie


If equity is to become a universal truth in our outcomes, what must instruction begin to look like?  

Antiracism requires Radical Candor.  What tools do you use to start conversations rooted in caring deeply and challenging directly?  

As you move from awareness to action, take time to ponder these question to guide your professional learning, from the article:  

What issues are you highlighting?  What issues are you allowing to hide in plain sight?  

Whose voice is the loudest?  Whose voice is being silenced?

What barriers are you knocking down?  Who or what in your learning organization has been holding the barriers up?

Are you ready to face the truth?  Are you ready to hear a truth that may be different from your own?

Donald Black Jr says, “Art is the answer to the question no one is asking?”  He probes deeper and asks himself, “What question is my work an answer to?”  How does his photography unveil racism in America? How does this connect to the question your educational work is answering?  

In becoming an antiracist, how have you become the subject of the work as part of the remedy to racism?  

When the talk turns into the walk - hope is born!  The art of your work is proof that equity can become a reality.  Our decisions and our designs must be held up to the light of accountability and outcomes to prove that the doom loop can be destroyed with productive rebellion, designed disruption and honoring those who we serve.  

Our decisions and designs are truly antiracist and universally designed when success becomes accessible to ALL!

Action Steps






An illustrated rocket.

similar resources

An illustrated play button.