McKinney speaks with Durham educators on power, privilege and Latinx student

April 9, 2018

Power is the ability to write and control the narratives about ourselves, as well as the narratives about others, Made in Durham’sYouth Engagement Strategist/Racial Equity Lead Dan McKinney told a group of Durham Public Schools teachers April 7 during a professional development program.

“To address power, we have to be willing to ask uncomfortable questions and be willing to sit with uncomfortable answers,” McKinney said. “Harmful narratives have been written about immigrants and their people. These narratives dehumanize our Latinx students while reinforcing the power of the dominant group.”

McKinney spoke on power, privilege and how to disrupt the harmful narratives written about Latinx students with a group of educators participating in the 2018 Visions: Connecting the Americas Scholars Program. The program of Duke University’s Office of Durham & Regional Affairs prepares teachers to support students from Latin American immigrant families, provides curriculum materials related to Latin American and Latinx communities and immigration, and promotes collaboration among teachers across schools and grade levels.

The spring workshop examined the history of the relationship between the United States and Latin America with a focus on Mexico and Central America, a history of Latin American immigration to the United States, power and privilege in the context of immigration and U.S. relations with Latin America and how to move the issue of Latin American history and culture in schools from the margins to the center.

McKinney coordinates the work of the Made in Durham Youth Network, a diverse group of young people ages of 14 to 24 who infuse the voice and perspective of young people throughout the work of the partnership. He also manages Made in Durham’s racial equity task force, which is working to identify strategies for overcoming racial inequities in Durham that inhibit student success.

McKinney has designed and taught courses on racism, and he serves on the leadership team of Organizing Against Racism–Durham.

Contact McKinney at or (214) 562-7133.


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