Equity Efforts County-Wide

Hi Friends,
Sorry this weekly update is late. A few reminders, first:
(1) Our first August small group meeting is scheduled for next Monday. Please let me know if you’re planning to attend.
(2) Please let me know if you’re interested in speaking this coming school year at School Board meetings about agenda items through an equity lens. Even if you can only do one, it will really help — the more they hear on a regular basis about the importance of equity, the better!
(3) Please let me know if you’re interested in attending a meeting with the Democratic candidate for County Board — if there’s enough interest from our group then I’ll set something up with him.
There are several actions happening this coming weekend:
(1) Shut It Down DC
(2) Black Lives Matter Rise Up Fight Back March
EmbraceRace is having another webinar, this one on how to discuss race with young children featuring the authors of the children’s book called Something Happened In Our Town. Registration is free and if you register, even if you can’t make it to the live event, you will receive a recording afterwards and can watch it at your convenience.
I had a very informative and exciting meeting with a community member last week. She’s a former School Board member and is currently working on a bunch of initiatives, all with an equity lens. She shared the following items:
(1) Communities in Schools of NOVA is working with some of our schools to manage unmet needs.
(2) The Community Progress Network is coordinated by APAH and was one of the major supporters of “Equity” being included in the School District Strategic Plan.
(3) Destination 2027 working on health equity in our community. In various parts of our county, there is a 10-year difference in life expectancy from one part to another because of inequities in our community. This campaign works to address that.
(4) We also discussed the difference between approaching problems upstream and downstream — downstream means focusing on the results of the systemic problems, applying bandaids, doing cleanup that will not end. As much as we can, we need to look upstream to find the sources of the problems to create lasting and systemic change.
(5) We talked about barriers to progress — things like lack of awareness, lack of collaboration, lack of communication, and lack of access. One of the places we need to push collaboration is between the schools and the County — we need to keep encouraging that to happen, both on the budget and on strategic planning as our community grows, which will hopefully allow us to leverage our resources in the most effective ways.
(6) King County, WA adopted an equity ordinance 12 years ago and this is an amazing example of a county incorporating equity into everything it does and giving actual meaning to that action. Montgomery Co, Fairfax Co, and Alexandria are all working on something similar, but our community is lagging behind — we need to push our leaders on making this happen.
(7) Supporting whole child initiatives and approaches will contribute to addressing the achievement gap and equity goals — when each child has what they need to learn, to be healthy, to live, then we are meeting their needs. Our community is the resource we need to leverage to do this and having a county-wide focus (as in, what is good for the county is good for all of us) will be key.
Happy last month of summer!
Listen, Amplify, Follow.

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