Happy Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth!

This message from Michelle Obama says so much about today:
"Most of us were taught that slavery came to an end when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. But as is so often the case, the full promise of this country was delayed for segments of the African-American community. And for enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, freedom didn’t come until June 19, 1865.
And what I love about #Juneteenth is that even in that extended wait, we still find something to celebrate. Even though the story has never been tidy, and Black folks have had to march and fight for every inch of our freedom, our story is nonetheless one of progress. I think of my own family’s journey. Both of my grandfathers were the grandchildren of enslaved people. They grew up in the Jim Crow South and migrated north in search of a better life. But even then, they were still shut out of jobs and schools and opportunities because of the color of their skin. But they pressed forward with dignity and with purpose, raising good kids, contributing to their communities, and voting in every election. And though they didn’t live to see it themselves, I can see the smiles on their faces knowing that their great-granddaughters ended up playing ball in the halls of the White House—a magnificent structure built by enslaved Americans.
All across the country, there are so many more parts to this story—the generations of families whose work and service and protest has led us forward, even if the promise we seek is often delayed. This Juneteenth, let’s all pledge to keep using our voices—and our votes—to keep that story marching forward for our own children, and theirs."

Here are some excellent events, actions and initiatives you can support in honor of this day:

  • Tomorrow on Saturday, June 20, 2pm, there is an online event co-hosted by MDUSD Parents for Multicultural Education: in honor of Juneteenth to hear speakers' personal stories and lived wisdom about celebrating Blackness, advocating for representation, and taking action to elevate Black history, culture, community and power. We welcome you; don't forget to register! Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87669316520

MDUSD Unanimously Approved Board Equity Policy and Resolution Condemning Racism

Did you know that on June 8th, MDUSD approvedResolution 19/20-68: Condemning Violence, Racism, and Injustice and Reaffirming Equity and Humanity as Central Guiding Principles and Equity Policy BP0415?

This was made possible by your support. In #Gratitude:
To the Mt. Diablo Unified School District students who spoke their truth and brainstormed solutions at that school board meeting,

To School Board President Brian Lawrence who created the space for those student voices and strongly supported placing two equity items on the agenda,

To the amazing principals, teachers, students and parents who wrote to us with their stories of the deep anti racist work they have been doing for years in our schools,

To Equity Director Jorge Melgoza and Communications Director Austin Breidenthal who spent hours with me drafting both a resolution to condemn racism and a new board equity policy,

To Willie James Mims of NAACP East County Branch who gave important feedback on the resolution and equity policy wording,

To Marcie Oliver Brown and Omega Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for endorsing the policy and partnering with MDUSD,

To my colleagues on our school board who all unanimously voted and spoke in support of both the resolution to condemn racism and the equity policy,

Thank you. This was an important first step in our district’s journey of dismantling the institutional racism that exists in our schools.

Each of you gives me hope that together we can and will do the hard work that it takes to truly ensure our black students, staff and families feel safe, welcome, respected, and supported to success in our education system.

Anti-racist Resources for Educators and Parents to move policy into action

So how will we enact those important policies?  One immediate way is in planning for the fall opening of school. Another is in the specifics of how teachers act within their classrooms.  Here are two resources to get started.

  • Equity Guidance for Schools - Are you giving input to the MDUSD task forces for fall planning? Check out this excellent resource for specific tools to use an Equity Lens in that process!

    It is chock full of actionable ready to use tools & samples including:
    - scheduling for equity
    - how to facilitate courageous conversations
    - SEL through a race equity lens with strategies for system leaders to take action
    - culturally responsive distance learning strategies for educators
    - Equity data walk for community
    - two way multilingual communication
    - planning protocols for supporting students with disabilities
    And much more.

  • "What anti-racist teachers do differently" - an Atlantic article

School Board meeting June 22nd 

Here is the agenda for Monday’s school board meeting. This agenda includes a draft of the 2020-21 MDUSD budget, a Public Hearing and Adoption of the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Plan and Annual Budget, renewal contracts for iReady and AVID, and more.

At the top of the agenda it shows how to submit a public comment. You don’t need to wait until the live meeting.  (I recommend submitting before 3pm on Monday) Either:

  • send an email at BoardComments@mdusd.org - all email messages are received by all board members, and recorded on the board action summaries for that meeting, or
  • leave a voicemail message at (801) 228-0093 - all voicemails are played live during the meeting

Visit https://mdusd.org/agendasminutes for all board agendas, videos, and action summaries.

Find the MDUSD Friday letter June 12th here, which included details on Task Forces, Equity, and Campus Safety Hotline.

 

Enjoy #Juneteenth celebrations, and stay safe and masked out there!


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