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That's Not My Name [curriculum]

Updated: Aug 25, 2022


It is Mirha’s first day of school, and she is so excited. Her family sends her off with lots of love, but when she gets to the classroom and introduces herself, her classmates and some of her teachers say her name incorrectly. Mirha feels sad and upset, but she feels shy about speaking up. Later that evening, she gets advice and support from her family, who reminds her that her name is unique, beautiful, and part of who she is. The next day, she returns to school with a way to tell kids and teachers what her name sounds like and the strength to say, “That’s not my name!” when someone is getting it wrong.


identity, belonging, Arabic language, back to school, apology, pronunciation, practice, decolonization, friendship, family, names, introductions


Our curriculum and ongoing practices are rooted in emergent strategy: “the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.” The interactions we have with books, among reading partners, inside classrooms, and within reading communities are relatively simple. What is cultivated from those interactions is something much more complex – lifelong, daily abolitionist, decolonizing, heart/body-centered, and anti-racist practices. These include learning how to make the ground more fertile for ongoing identity, healing, discussion, action, and imagination practices in ourselves and with each other.

This reading guide was written by Zapoura Newton-Calvert and was designed to accompany Anoosha Syed’s picture bookThat’s Not My Name. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper learning, conversation, and possibilities for action around racial justice and liberation in our communities.



THE CURRICULUM KIT: we'll send you the book, sticky note conversation starters, and our social justice curriculum

THE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD: download the social justice curriculum now


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