Smashing the Mirror:

a 22-week trauma-informed, anti-racism, secondary school curriculum

We're passionate about helping a generation overcome their traumas and fearlessly pursue a happy, healthy, purpose-filled life!

We are helping every student tell their story
We are helping the teacher tell the humanitarian story
A multi-ethnic group of high school students are outdoors on a summer day. They are gathered together to take a selfie, and they are all smiling.
We're starting with the next generation

What is Smashing the Mirror?

Smashing The Mirror is a 22-week trauma-informed, anti-racism, secondary school curriculum that contributes to the elimination of racism and racial discrimination in Canadian public schools. The program aims to address systemic racial barriers, conduct research to support the integration of health in education, and foster cultural and intercultural community building.

A multi-ethnic group of high school students are outdoors on a summer day. They are gathered together to take a selfie, and they are all smiling.
GEN-XYZ

With 1.8 billion youth aged 10 to 24 alive today, it’s the largest global population of youth in history. To achieve the goals set by the UN General Assembly, the Canadian government, the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, BC’s provincial government, BC’s Ministry of Education, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc government to end anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and promote the participation of these groups in all aspects of Canadian life, the passionate voices and skills of youth are more critical than ever.

GEN-XYZ

With 1.8 billion youth aged 10 to 24 alive today, it’s the largest global population of youth in history. To achieve the goals set by the UN General Assembly, the Canadian government, the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, BC’s provincial government, BC’s Ministry of Education, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc government to end anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and promote the participation of these groups in all aspects of Canadian life, the passionate voices and skills of youth are more critical than ever.

The Program has been designed to achieve the following results:

Improve mental health and well-being.
An increase in student and teacher's awareness of the factors that hinder full participation of Blacks and Aboriginals in Canadian society and the economy.
Increase positive experiences of community cohesion and inclusion.
Increased knowledge among participants about how to effectively address racism and discrimination.
Reduce "felt experiences" of racism and cultural exclusion by Black and Aboriginal students in the school setting.

Project Model

We're designing an online portal + app for teachers and students

The project model introduces a trauma-informed, anti-racism curriculum to grade 10 teachers and ~200 youth (14-15 years old). It recognizes the Black and Aboriginal experiences of the past 500 years as traumatic in nature and recognizes the corresponding traumatic responses as a significant hindrance to social, economic, and political participation.

The program uniquely attends to individual and community healing using a 22-week curriculum that uses assimilated indigenous and non-indigenous ways of knowing to “speak truth”, introduces a forgiveness process to support trauma-resolution and healing at the individual and group level, foster reconciliation, and engage students in a capacity building process that teaches them how to effectively advocate for change and end the perpetuation of racism in their school environment.

We're designing an online portal + app for teachers and students

22-Week Curriculum Snapshot

TRUTH - WEEK 1 TO 7

Indigenous records (Aboriginal, Black Canadian, African, Caribbean), literature reviews, storytelling, artistic archives, laws, and government policies, books, residential school records,
current real-world events, film, and other works of art will be used to increase student’s awareness of events, laws, and belief systems that have and continue to significantly impact the lived experience of Black and Aboriginal peoples across Canada over the past 500 years.

Special attention will be granted to the intersection of race, culture, ethnicity, religion, and genocide in the traumatic experiences of the Black and Indigenous communities across the globe.

FORGIVENESS - WEEK 8 TO 15

Research has repeatedly demonstrated the positive benefits of forgiveness on physical and mental health (Weir, 2021), but rarely are we taught how to forgive. Literature relevant to Poly-vagal Theory, Mirror Neurons, epigenetics, compassion, and empathy will support students’ understanding of the mind-body-spirit response to trauma.

A student forgiveness handbook designed for high school students will introduce students to a 7-step forgiveness process that brings healing to individuals, families, and entire communities. Two assignments will support students with completing personal forgiveness connected to their lived experience and the atrocities outlined in weeks 1 to 7.

RECONCILIATION - WEEK 16 TO 22

Students will be exposed to a variety of reconciliation practices used around the globe to bring communal healing. Students, teachers, parents, and community members will be invited to participate in a 3-day Truth, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation retreat.

Students will also work in groups of 5 to complete a community advocacy project called Never Again. They will identify an issue of concern to Black and Aboriginal students in the school community and use a community advocacy process to bring change and reform policies that perpetuate harm.

Where are we now?

We are preparing to launch in January 2023

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Collaboration
We have formed a collaborative partnership with school district no. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) and Kamloops immigrant services.
A diverse group of high school students gather at a table in a classroom and smile at the camera.
Student Advisory
We have identified students with a keen interest in this work and have formed a student advisory to support the black student perspective as we move through each phase of the project.
Focus Group
In April 2022, we will proceed with a focus group led by senior students to support us in understanding the full lived experiences of black students in the Kamloops school system.
Repeat Process
This process will be replicated for aboriginal students from May to June 2022.

Evaluation

Multi-ethnic group of young people sitting in circle and sharing ideas during class in high school
The achievement of early outcomes related to anti-black and anti-aboriginal racism will be an important component of the evaluation and our focus will be on examining how the program influences:
  • Student and teacher's awareness of the factors that hinder full participation of blacks and aboriginals in Canadian society and the economy.

  • Student's mental health and wellbeing.

  • Student's knowledge and capacity to work in groups to address racism and discrimination in their community.

Multi-ethnic group of young people sitting in circle and sharing ideas during class in high school

Would you like more information?

Help us generate interest, awareness of the program, and use of the program by other grades and schools in your region.

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