Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities


This paper uses the terminology of whiteness, settler colonialism, culturally responsive pedagogy, and restorative education to interrogate the usage of spoken word in schools. I argue that spoken word can function as a form of resistance to white colonialist practices and as an advocate of emotional learning and critical education. This paper focuses on representation, student empowerment, and identity exploration in the context of education institutions. It crosses borders between education and authenticity, between classrooms and real life, and between teachers and students. I aim to ground this essay in the American Studies discipline as it discusses systems of power in the United States and seeks to disrupt dominant narratives through spoken word as an alternative education strategy for dismantling white supremacy and validating marginalized identities. This work is only a small part of the larger conversation on restorative justice in education.

Author Biography

Madeline Schmitt (she/her/hers) Madeline is a graduating senior at Macalester College. She majors is American Studies and has taken a variety of Educational Studies, Hispanic Studies, Political Science, History, and dance courses. She is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She could not have completed the project without the help of mentors, friends, and family who helped with processing ideas and editing in the final days. She would like to thank family and everyone involved in making it possible for her to attend college with a supportive community around her. Every person that she has learned from—teachers, peers, friends, and community members—has helped her to grow in a multitude of wonderful ways.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.