School climate is a complex system involving norms, goals, values, relationships, practices and organizational structures. It includes the composition of the school and school practices. School composition encompasses the social and economic characteristics of a school, whereas school practice includes administrative leadership and the utilization of resources (Anyon et al., 2016; Opdenakker & Van Damme, 2006; Rumberger & Palardy, 2005; Thapa et al., 2013). If students do not feel their needs are being met by their school environment their emotional, psychological and academic needs are at risk (Cohen et al., 2009; Connell & Welborn, 1991; Libbey, 2004). Black students in particular are subject to unfair treatment in school because of school practices designed based on dominant white culture and thus misaligned with Black cultural knowledge and style. Following the pandemic, collectively, we have been individually, socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically impacted (Bartlett, Griffin, & Thomson, 2020; Patrick, et al., 2020). Black communities in particular, who were already greatly impacted, are experiencing even larger negative gaps (Parolin, 2021; Wright, et al., 2022). Narrowing these gaps is necessary, but how do we build an ecosystem of Black Joy, laughter and affirmation as resistance within the apparatus of education? Research particularly focused on the school experiences of Black adolescents, that highlight support from family and community combat the adversity that Black students experience in school. Students need more than an adult to say I care about you. That is not enough. Educators must communicate that they care through facilitating intentional opportunities to build joy, laughter and affirmation not with control, but through high, realistic expectations, respect and insisting that students can succeed. This call to action provides a scoping review of suggestions from the authors and current literature that educators, practitioners, and communities could consider applying in order to build stronger ecosystems of Black joy, laughter and affirmation.



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