On this #BlackoutTuesday we recognize the urgent need for justice in particular for African Americans in our country. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are the most recent examples of the horrific violence that people of color experience, here in the “land of the free”. All of us must become a part of the solution to end the violence and hatred.
In times like this, I reflect on how to hold myself accountable for actions and not just talk. I have requested this Equity Board Policy be added to our school board agenda for the June 8th meeting, and district staff are preparing additional actions. My family is holding a bookclub & discussion today on the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. There is so much more to do.
I want to take a minute here though to elevate the voices and actions of some of our MDUSD principals, parents and teachers:
- From Principal Moss, ShoreAcres Elementary School:
- “Our school community will continue to be committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion to ensure all families feel welcomed and supported. Please reach out if you need support.”
- “Nuestra communidad escolar está compremetida con la equidad, la diversidad, y la inclusion para asegurar que todos las familias se seitan bienvenidas y apoyadas. Por favor, pongase en contacto si cree que necesita apoyo.”
- If you are looking for ways to talk to your child about the current events, here are some resources: English https://centerracialjustice.org/resources/resources-for-talking-about-race-racism-and-racialized-violence-with-kids/
- Si está buscando maneras de hablar con su hijo acerca de los eventos actuales, estos son algunos recursos: Español https://www.healthychildren.org/Spanish/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Paginas/talking-to-children-about-racial-bias.aspx
- From Principal DeMartini of El Monte Elementary School: “Our @elmontebulldogs staff compiled a list of resources for talking to kids about racism. Please feel free to use them with your students or children (and give us feedback on what we can add)”
- From teacher Bryan Shaw, YV High: “I’ve had a lot of @YgnacioValley students email me or DM about what’s going on in our nation today. You should sign up for our ethnic studies course. This is our curriculum. You’ll love it. I’d be honored if you signed up.”
- From MDUSD Parents for Multicultural Education: If you have a child (or teach children) aged 4-9 we highly recommend the children's book Something Happened in Our Town. It's a story about racial injustice that covers a lot in less than 40 pages. It was published by the American Psychological Association in 2018 and covers police shootings from the perspective of a White family and an African American family.
- from Teaching Tolerance - Teaching about Race, Racism, and Police Violence
- from CALSA: Ethnic Studies Protecting our Youth with Policy & Practice
And for students:
- a message for those who want “to channel their energy into concrete action”: How to Make this Moment a Turning Point for Real Change, by Barack Obama
Please keep sharing YOUR ideas for actions that we all can take to truly create schools and communities that are safe, welcoming, and inclusive for all.