Graphic associated with the #ShutDownAcademia events on June 10, 2020, featuring protesters of many races with signs reading "Black Lives Matter"

Open Learning Resources on Race in America

MIT Open Learning

A statement from the Open Learning leadership

We join our nation and the world in shock, horror, and anger as we mourn the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey, and so many other Black people killed in incidents of police violence and hate crimes. The painful racist incidents of the past few weeks have taken a toll on all of us, especially our African American and minority communities. We stand in solidarity with the protesters throughout the world demanding justice and an end to systems that perpetuate inequality.

At Open Learning, we believe that education is a crucial lever in bringing about a fairer and more just world. We are deeply committed to creating positive change through knowledge, critical thinking, and compassion. At this critical time, we also ask ourselves if we are doing enough. What can we do, and what can we change, to address systemic iniquities in our society?

Now more than ever, it is crucial to work toward a world where educational opportunity is provided to everyone, regardless of ethnicity or economic status, and that our programs and institutions serve as engines of equality that power a better world for all. We need to develop educational systems that are more effective, resilient, and equitable than they were before.

We recognize that it will take more than innovative pedagogy, practice, and research. It will take deep, systemic, structural disruption to realize the aspiration of reaching everyone with quality learning opportunities in order to create real and lasting societal change. We are committed to making this change. We invite you to join us on this critical journey to build a more just future.


#ShutDownAcademia / #ShutDownSTEM

On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, MIT Open Learning is participating in #ShutDownAcademia #ShutDownSTEM: a day to hit pause on “business as usual” to learn, reflect, and focus on anti-racism in academia and STEM. 

As we engage in this work, we’ve gathered some relevant resources from across Open Learning for those interested in exploring MIT projects and courseware on race and the Black experience in America.



Discover a wealth of MIT course materials across disciplines on subjects related to race, racism, and the African American experience, freely available through MIT OpenCourseWare:



Equity and Excellence in K-12 Remote Learning

Prof. Justin Reich, MIT Teaching Systems Lab Director, discusses Covid-19’s effect on pK-12 learning in the US, and accounting for “how people from different socioeconomic status backgrounds, racial backgrounds, and other different walks of life might experience online learning differently.”


Center for Advanced Virtuality

Passage Home VR

Developed by MIT Virtuality Director Prof. D. Fox Harrell and PhD student Danielle Olson, “Passage Home VR” is a virtual reality experience that allows users to experience a discriminatory encounter from the standpoint of an African American high school student. 


MIT Resources

The MIT Vigil

President Rafael Reif’s Statement at the Vigil

MIT Institute Community and Equity Office 

Letter to the MIT faculty: A moment of moral urgency

MIT Libraries Racial Justice and Anti-racist resources

MIT Black History Project

Technology and the Dream, via MIT Press

Juneteenth educational projects from the Scratch community


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