The Need For Courageous Conversations In Education

In an educational setting, the lines of what is appropriate and necessary can seem blurred. Add in a new era of standards and repercussions for errors of sensitive subjects, and teachers and other educational staff can feel a bit concerned about discussing the deeper issues. Finding the right way to talk about the sensitive, and oftentimes difficult, conversations of race, sexism, diversity, and inclusion can be arduous and nerve-wracking. 

While it is harsh to put the weight solely on the teacher, the inevitable responsibility can not be denied. It is the teacher’s job to develop their students efficiently to succeed in the world. However, when a student’s educational setting is far different from their experiences outside of school, there is a lesser chance of building a connection and helping the student to be responsive to their realities. 

To help alleviate the angst amongst educational staff,  Glenn E. Singleton founded the Pacific Educational Group, PEG, in 1992. Dedicated to achieving racial equity in education, PEG engages in continued partnerships with educational organizations in efforts to reconstruct the behaviors, beliefs, and results in the classroom to provide all races the education needed to reach their fullest potential.

Pacific Educational Group has expanded during its 25-year history from its original focus on PreK-12 education in the U.S to address race in higher education, law enforcement, non-profits, corporations in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. PEG believes racism is the biggest contributor to the diminished capacity of all people, especially those of color and indigenous heritage, to achieve their highest potential. Until we become aware of its extent and discuss the factors and impact can we hope to eliminate any negative racial outcomes and experiences. 

PEG’s award-winning protocol for achieving this goal is titled Courageous Conversations and works by engaging, sustaining and deepening interracial dialogue. PEG is used to enable educational staff to talk with their students and address racial disparities fully and intentionally. The strategy of Courageous Conversations is to impart a stronger understanding of the issues and demonstrate how to discuss race explicitly in all environments. PEG’s diverse and dynamic staff work together to design curriculums, coach leaders, and facilitate seminars that can be used in their professional and personal lives. 

About PEG, Christopher B. Coleman, Mayor of the city Saint Paul in Minnesota, said:

“The City’s leadership team has used Pacific Educational Group’s training and the Courageous Conversation protocol effectively to launch our racial equity work. Sharing these concepts and approaches with our partners, Saint Paul Public Schools has created a level of trust and understanding around racial equity we didn’t have before.”

Originally published on

Published by Jeff Horton Duluth

As a citizen and as an educator in Duluth, Minnesota, Jeff Horton loves empowering other people to help themselves in their own lives. He’s always been a believer of the “give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for life” kind of mentality, and works passionately to help people develop the skills and the confidence they need to succeed in their own ways. For Jeff, the act of helping others is more than just performative; he’s not looking to make a difference in the lives of those around him to make himself feel better or feel like he’s accomplished something. Rather, Jeff wants to create an environment where everyone feels empowered and equipped to build their own paths.

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