In February, DPI brought in Charlene Carruthers for its equity webinar series to talk about social transformation. Carruthers is a community organizer and PhD student at Northwestern University who specializes in “interrogating historical conjunctures of Black freedom-making post-emancipation and decolonial revolution, Black governance, Black feminist and queer theory,” according to her website.
“We’re going up against 300 years plus, at least of it being a formal state, of white supremacy, of patriarchy and of capitalism,” she told the teachers.
That’s also the core principle of CRT, which describes all aspects of American history and society within that framework. Although Carruthers’ life is dedicated to that work, she claims she’s not sure what people mean when they refer to CRT.
“I’m a black studies scholar, I cannot tell- I think could tell you what critical race theory is, and I can tell you for sure it is not the most radical thing to come out… ha! Wait until you hear what we really think, what we really believe in!”
DPI’s in-house education consultant Chrissy Thuli was nodding and laughing as Carruthers made that admission.
Carruthers is a vocal advocate of the defund the police movement. She referenced Freedom Inc’s work in Madison for the #PoliceFreeSchools campaign. Freedom Inc. played a key leadership role during the riots that destroyed downtown Madison in 2020.