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The Innocent Classroom: Dismantling Racial Bias to Support Students of Color


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When children of color enter their classrooms each year, many often encounter low expectations, disconnection, and other barriers to their success. In The Innocent Classroom, Alexs Pate traces the roots of these disparities to pervasive negative stereotypes, which children are made aware of before they even walk through the school door. The cumulative weight of these stereotypes eventually takes shape as guilt, which inhibits students' engagement, learning, and relationships and hurts their prospects for the future.

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About the authors

Author and educator, Alexs Pate is also President and CEO of Innocent Technologies and creator of the Innocent Classroom, a program for K–12 educators that aims to transform U.S. public education and end disparities by closing the relationship gap between educators and students of color.  

The Innocent Classroom has partnered with U.S. districts and schools, training more than 7,000 educators and expanding to include early-childhood educators and training for healthcare professionals to build connections with their patients. Pate was named the 2021 Kay Sexton Award winner, an award recognizing his longstanding dedication and outstanding work in fostering books, reading, and literary activity in Minnesota. His published work includes the New York Times bestseller Amistad.  

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