AMAZEworks champions safety and belonging for all. We work to end bias, discrimination, mistreatment, and harassment by creating inclusive, equitable communities through our anti-bias curriculum, resources, consultation, and training. Using the framework of Anti-Bias Education, AMAZEworks programs foster healthy identity development and respect across differences of race/ethnicity, class, culture, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion/faith, and ability. We help children and adults develop the tools and skills to name and reject bias, prejudice, and stereotypes.
Our work lies at the intersection of social-emotional learning, culturally responsive teaching, and anti-bullying practices. Students develop the capacity to thrive in today’s world because AMAZEworks guides educators to better support students in safely dealing with bias-based teasing, exclusion, and harassment through a preventive approach. With AMAZEworks early childhood, elementary, and secondary programs, children see themselves positively reflected in classroom materials and get a window into the lives of those who are different from them. They practice key social-emotional skills as they share stories, listen to new perspectives, engage in respectful discussions, and problem solve. The literature- and video-based curricula empowers educators to have regular, intentional conversations with students on identity, differences, and bias. Through reflection and discussions that break the silence around identity-based mistreatment and bias, children make their environments inclusive of all differences, thereby increasing engagement and learning.
Our Early Childhood and Elementary Curricula are literature-based with a set of books and lessons for each grade level on topics such as community building, intercultural awareness, and standing up for justice. The Persona Doll Program uses child-sized dolls, each with its own diverse identity, to teach social skills, conflict resolution, and problem solving. With each program, children practice key social-emotional skills as they share stories, listen to new perspectives, engage in respectful discussions, and problem solve.
The Secondary Curriculum is video-based and engages adolescents in asking themselves: “Who do I want to be in this world? How do I want to be in this world? How do I want others to see me?” Extremely self-conscious, adolescents begin to wonder, “Who am I?” The curriculum encourages community and belonging because it challenges students to dig into their beliefs, values, and behaviors through the lens of anti-bias education so that they can be their true selves while allowing others to be their true selves.
The Classroom Dynamics social mapping program uses student surveys to create sociograms that provide teachers with the students’ perspective on the social dynamics in their classroom. Using Classroom Dynamics, teachers learn who other children identify as being isolated, excluded, teased, engaging in mean and teasing behavior, or standing up for others. AMAZEworks offers a range of intervention strategies for educators, which help shift unhealthy dynamics towards a more inclusive community. Because Classroom Dynamics works with the social environment and the AMAZEworks curriculums provide the anti-bias educational content, we increase educators’ abilities to create classrooms that meet each child’s needs and provide the best conditions for learning.
AMAZEworks has a range wide of trainings and workshops for school personnel and parents/guardians. As a founding member of the Racial Equity Minnesota Network, AMAZEworks also provides equity training, consultation, and resources to local companies, governments, and community groups. Through this work, AMAZEworks expands beyond the educational landscape to encourage community and business leaders to listen to the stories of their colleagues and neighbors and to reduce bias and foster community and belonging.