Top stories of 2021: Critical race theory and Pa. school board elections – witf.org – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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  • Gabriela Martínez

In 2021, the term “critical race theory” went from a college-level academic concept about America’s racial history to a rallying cry for conservative groups who say it brands every White person as racist.

Nationwide, an anti-CRT movement has led to school district bans on the concept, attempts to ban books on racial injustice and LGBTQ issues, and laws that limit how racism in American history can be taught. At least some of the opposition has been organized: For example, a political action committee, the 1776 Project PAC, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support anti-CRT candidates in seven states.

The controversy has played out in Pennsylvania, as well.

Mars Area School District in western Pennsylvania banned the concept of critical race theory over the summer.

In July, a group of parents rallied at the state Capitol against criti


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