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Start With Radical Love

Start With Radical Love
Antiracist Pedagogy for Social Justice Educators

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January 2024 | 184 pages | Corwin

Foster an environment of love and healing within schools

In this groundbreaking book, educator, poet, and activist Dr. Crystal Belle challenges traditional educational practices and offers a new approach to teaching rooted in radical love and social justice. Combining research with personal experiences and interviews, Dr. Belle explores the roots and practical application of a social justice education framework grounded in Critical Race Theory (CRT), heart healing, educator beliefs, and a deep understanding of the structural inequities in education. Features of the book include:

  • Personal narratives and  portraiture that highlight the complex human aspects of education
  • Sample social justice lesson planning templates and a social justice oriented curricular map
  • Pedagogical activities that encourage critical thinking and more inclusive classrooms
  • Radical love notes, objectives, reflection prompts, and discussion questions
  • Critical discussion of special education, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the impact educators can have on their students through self-examination

Teaching with radical love means looking beyond traditional metrics of a student's success and utilizing their brilliance, cultural wealth, and intellectual potential to create transformative learning experiences, especially for minoritized children. This innovative approach to social justice education supports educators to teach with care, understanding, and intentional support for the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities of students.

About the Author
Chapter 1: What’s Love Got to Do with It?
Chapter 2: What Exactly is Social Justice Education?
Chapter 3: Heart Healing Through Teaching, Leading, and Unlearning
Chapter 4: Special Education and Social Justice
Chapter 5: From the Mouths of Social Justice Educators
Chapter 6: Where Do We Go From Here?


"I can’t believe this is Dr. Belle’s first book. The writing is a clear, thoughtful road map to radical love. I found myself becoming more curious and reflective with each turn of the page. I am grateful Dr. Belle wrote this book to move us from the dialogue of social justice and radical love to action." 

Bettina Love, Best-Selling Author and William F. Russell Professor
Teachers College, Columbia University

"With pen and note pad by my side, I devoured this masterful work. Crystal Belle is offering us food for thought, challenge to fight, and a pathway forward. Truly a beautiful work."

Christopher Emdin
Best-Selling Author and Robert A. Naslund Endowed Chair, University of Southern California

"Start with Radical Love is a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of the intersection between love, social justice, and education. With a focus on personal growth, practical insights, and the experiences of educators in the field, the book encourages readers to reflect on the role of radical love in education and its connection to creating more just, healing-centered, and equitable learning environments. Belle underscores the importance of love in teaching and the profound impact teachers can have on students' lives when they approach teaching with compassion."

Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Ph.D., Professor & Author
"Advancing Racial Literacies in Teacher Education," and "Love from the Vortex & Other Poems," Teachers College, Columbia University

Crystal Belle

Dr. Crystal Belle has been an educator for over 16 years and has worked in k-12 schools in Brooklyn, NY as an English Teacher, in higher education at the University of Houston-Downtown and Rutgers University-Newark as a Professor and Director of Education, and in the non-profit sector as a Director of curriculum partnerships at EL Education. Her work is grounded in Critical Race Theory, Social Justice Education, radical love and self-care. Also an entrepreneur, Dr. Belle is the founder and Principal consultant of Self Love Life 101, an online coaching business that supports individuals and organizations to implement radical self-care... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071827710