Listening and Believing Others’ Requests for Equality

Hi Friends!
I’m starting to pull together the topics of conversation for our meeting with the chair of the School Board. Some of our attendees have given me some ideas and I’d love to hear from any of you (whether you can attend or not) about what you’d like the group to discuss. I’m hoping to focus on a few topics in depth rather than having a broader Q&A session and I’d like to give her a list of topics. Please email me your questions/topics/ideas and I’ll put together some prompts for her over the weekend.
I wanted to follow up on the recent information about the push for equal amenities at any potential new high school in our community. I re-read my response to that last month and I realized that I might have unintentionally undermined the argument made. That was not my intent. I also want to be completely candid and honest and identify my own bias in hesitating to amplify and follow this effort right away. The argument for equal facilities should be an easy one to support, no matter the complications of the site or whether or not a new high school is needed, etc. But I hesitated. I thought I didn’t know enough to support this effort. What that really was, I think, in myself, was a hesitation to follow voices with which I was unfamiliar. As I heard more and more people in my acquaintance circle talk about the rally and the effort to advocate for equality, I became more comfortable with supporting the effort wholeheartedly, but it should not have taken familiar voices to stand up for equality. I should have trusted the voices of experience, the voices calling for change and fairness, and I should not have hesitated. I will move forward from this experience with a greater knowledge of my own biases and I will work to address those in myself. If you had a similar experience, I would encourage you to do the same.
I have reached out to those community members who have been advocating for this effort and I have learned more about the group’s goals, which I would like to share with you: “Our effort … is really look to build a wide coalition. It’s been tough going. We’re hoping to expand the constituency tapping into 3 aspects that are involved: 1) recognition that there are county-wide implications for this development, 2) arts/athletics advocacy and non-profits that want to expand access, and 3) equal access/civil rights concerns.” They are paying particular attention to upcoming School Board and County votes. They have also asked for help finding “contacts in the civil rights legal world” who can help to “put the county on notice” so please let them know.
Good news from the school district about their naming policy — one of our high schools will be renamed (effective September 2019) after a committee has a chance to evaluate potential new names. The committee will also be in charge of naming many new sites that do not currently have names.
I reached out again to VACOLAO to get better connected to their efforts in our community. I’ll be having a conversation with them soon, hopefully, but in the meantime, their FB page has community education info, advocacy updates, and relevant news.
A connection shared information about CAIR’s efforts to send books to detained immigrant children (there are six such facilities in MD and VA). To learn more, go here.
Keep pushing!

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