Investigating Privilege and Access in Educational Systems: How to Avoid Being a “Karen” or “Ken” in the Workplace and with Students and Families

Course Description

In this course, participants will investigate how privilege and access intersects within the educational system through unsuspecting or intentional/unintentional behaviors. We will discuss how people use their privilege as a form of entitlement to gain access, popularly known as being a “Karen” or “Ken.” Participants will dissect and reflect on how this denies others access and perpetuates stereotypes, bias, and racism using historical structures, systems, and institutions to oppress. Together, we’ll develop skill in navigating spaces in more culturally responsive ways in order to begin dismantling structures that gate-keep marginalized or under-represented populations.

Course Objectives
  • Increase one’s personal awareness of race and identity; 
  • Deepen your knowledge of how privilege and access intersects within the educational system through unsuspecting or intentional/unintentional behaviors, and 
  • Learn skills to navigate spaces in more culturally responsive way in order to help dismantle structures that gate-keep marginalized or under-represented populations.
Course Expectations
  • Stay engaged.
  • Sit in and push through discomfort.
  • Speak your truth.
  • Expect and be accepting of non-closure.
Meet the Instructor

Gloria Henderson, originally from Houston Texas, is an equity-forward leader, educator, public speaker, and youth and community advocate. The greater Seattle area has been her home since December 2002, after graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She began her career in education a few years later as a teacher in both elementary and secondary schools once she received her Master of Arts in Education. For the last decade, she has been an assistant principal, principal, and Director of Opportunity, Equity and Inclusion in both medium and large districts.

Gloria is also a proud UW graduate, receiving her principal certification through the Danforth program, along with a Master of Education. Currently, she is a third year doctoral student in UW’s L4L program.

Instructor’s Teaching Style

My teaching style has both formal and informal elements. I always strive for meaningful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking learning that is connected to timely themes with culturally responsive and cross-sectional links and approaches. There will be opportunities to connect with me, along with others in the learning session as we move through the session together.

Course Details

  • Participants will meet in three online synchronous sessions (4:00-5:30pm PST on October 29, November 5, and November 12). The Zoom link will be emailed to participants prior to the start of the course.
  • The fee for this course is $115. Teachers paying for their own registration receive a discounted rate of $90.
  • The course fee includes 5 clock hours (4.5 hours meeting in synchronous sessions, ~30 minutes reading between sessions).
  • Registration is limited to 50 participants. Please join our waitlist if the course becomes full. We will contact you in the event that a seat becomes available or an additional date/time of the course is created.  For questions, please contact professionallearning@uw.edu.