On a mission to dismantle racial bias

Every child should know what it is like to feel innocent – to believe that this world is open to them. Our society’s stereotypes stand in the way. We partner with administrators, principals, and classroom teachers to help them build relationships that liberate children of color from the power of racial stereotypes in their schools and classrooms.

85% of Innocent Classroom educators report improved relationships with the children they teach

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News & Events

Watch our Event: Closing the Relationship Gap: Innocence & Learning Loss

On September 29, the Innocent Classroom team hosted a national conversation on Innocence and Learning Loss. We had an inspiring dialogue focusing on how we must transform the current narrative about our students and the impact of the past three school years. Participants emphasized that we need to center that children did learn and found ways to connect with us and each other that we could not have anticipated.

As one participant said, “Let’s focus on the learning that did happen in the last two years.”

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Register Today for the 2021 Innocent Classroom Virtual Conference. December 4, 2021.

Join the Innocent Classroom Community this December 4th.  Our theme is “Movement for Innocence: Hope, Belief, Action”

Alexs Pate, creator of the Innocent Classroom and author of The Innocent Classroom: Dismantling Racial Bias to Support Student of Color (ASCD 2020) will be our opening keynote. He’ll provide a preview of his new Innocent Classroom book scheduled to be published by ASCD in late 2022.


Watch Replacing Systemic Racism with Systemic Innocence: A Conversation with the Innocent Classroom

Join the Innocent Classroom team for a conversation about replacing systemic racism in education with systems where all children are free from racial bias and stereotyped expectations.

Watch Today

The Innocent Classroom: Dismantling Racial Bias to Support Students of Color

“The Innocent Classroom is solution based. What’s more, it puts the strategic capacity in the hands of educators.

It is past time for us to stop trying to manage our children. Whatever form that approach takes, it seems to create disparate outcomes. Rather, it is time to understand our children and help them come to believe that they can exist outside any stereotypical image or idea they have been led to believe about themselves.

If we go about it the right way, this ineffective system can give way to one that reflects a more enlightened understanding of who the children are who sit uneasily at their desks. Maybe this is the dawn of a new age in public education: the age of the child. The individual child. The innocent child.”


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Our education system fails millions of our children. Poor grades and low graduation rates are accepted as the norm – with lasting consequences for students’ education and our social fabric.


We have not prepared teachers to teach all our children. The gap between educators’ lived experience and the students they teach grows every day, fueling the negative stereotypes that undermine achievement.


Our children are not who the world says they are. Regardless of virulent negative stereotypes, every student is innocent or has the potential to reclaim his or her innocence. Every child is worthy of the investment of passionate educators.

Our Impact
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As more teachers take up the challenge, it changes the school: vocabulary shifts, practices evolve, and the culture rallies around students who are most wounded. Schools make progress as a community — classroom by classroom, year after year.

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Students… expect to be seen as disruptive, angry, argumentative, defiant, and unmotivated. But if someone hears them, respects them, cares about them, and tries to see their good, they change. They become approachable. They want to listen and learn.

Innocent Classroom Participant,
Minneapolis Public Schools

Proven to narrow the achievement gap.

Innocent Classroom is having a significant impact in districts with some of the country’s deepest divides. Our approach to building relationships improves student performance and teacher practice where other programs fall short.

Learn About Our Impact