Anti-Racist Curriculum and Digital Platforms: Evidence from Black Lives Matter
Forthcoming, Management Science
40 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2021 Last revised: 25 Oct 2021
Date Written: April 22, 2021
In this paper, we examine the impact of racially charged events on the demand for anti-racist classroom resources in US public schools. We use book requests made by teachers on DonorsChoose.org, the largest crowdfunding platform for public school teachers, as a measure of intent to address race-related topics in the classroom. We use the precise timing of high-profile police brutality and other racially charged events in the US (2010-2020) to identify their effect on anti-racism requests relative to a control group. We find a significant increase in anti-racism requests following the killing of George Floyd in 2020, and a null effect for all other events in the decade. We also find an increase in requests for books featuring Latinx, Asian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures, suggesting that a focus on equality for one group can spill over and yield culturally aware dialogues for other groups as well. Event studies suggest that local protests played a role in motivating some of the teachers to post these requests. In just four months following George Floyd’s death, $3.4 million worth of books featuring authors and characters from marginalized communities were successfully funded, reaching over half a million students. Text analysis of impact notes posted by teachers suggests that hundreds of thousands of young students are being engaged in discussions about positive affirmation and cross-cultural acceptance.
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