Change the Relationship

Change the Outcomes

Change the Future

Dismantling Racial Bias So Every Child Can Succeed

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News & Events

Join the Innocent Classroom Community on April 13 at 4 pm (CDT) for a Panel Conversation on Dismantling Racial Bias System-Wide

Register Today

Listen Alexs Pate’s Podcast “The ‘E’ Word: What Students of Color Need From Every Teacher”


Watch Alexs Pate’s Keynote from 2021 Innocent Classroom Conference

Watch Keynote

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