Over the last several years, the field of school psychology as a whole has become increasingly focused on racism and antiracism. With this focus, many white school psychologists have turned their attention to the foundational research, practice, and advocacy work that School Psychologists of Color have been building for over a century; however, given white people’s inevitable complicity in racism, their engagement in these efforts presents opportunities for them to cause further harm. The purpose of this paper is to describe performative racial allyship (PRA) and its implications for school psychologists. Drawing from existing work by various Scholars of Color, we define, deconstruct, and interrogate PRA as a corrosive, counterproductive, and pervasive phenomenon in this field. We also introduce a model of PRA which locates, identifies, and compares performative and authentic ally behavior. We urge scholars and practitioners–primarily those who are white–to deeply introspect, authentically listen to Scholars and Activists of Color, and demand systemic change in service of racial liberation. Impact Statement In recent years, the field of school psychology as a whole has become increasingly focused on racism in schools. Building on the seminal works of many Scholars of Color, this article describes the nature of performative racial allyship (PRA) and its implications for disrupting progress toward racial justice in the profession and K-12 settings. Particular emphasis is placed on white school psychologists’ engagement in PRA, given their long history of inflicting racial harm in the U.S.
- Pamela Fenning
- professional issues in school psychology
- social justice