So Many Folks Doing Good Work

Hi Friends!
If you have any doubt about why disparities in our county matter, check out the ArlNow article and the tool it used, called “Opportunity Atlas.” Interestingly, this is focuses on low-income rather than race, but as we know, the two are intrinsically linked. Thanks to several of you who told me about this article.
If any of you have been to events relevant to this group, I’d love for you to share your thoughts and observations with the group (or through me). I’m certainly not able to go to everything or read/listen to everything, so feel free to share with the group anytime.
Here are some upcoming events:
(1) VOICE is hosting Governor Northam and Attorney General Herring at its Assembly event on Sunday, October 21 from 4–6 pm in Fairfax.
(2) Destination 2027 and the Community Progress Network (CPN) are co-hosting an event on November 1 from 5:30–8:30 pm at Wakefield High School called: My Health. My Voice. A Community Conversation About Being Healthy in Arlington — the main goal is to hear from low-income Arlington residents. I’m sharing it with all of you because they need volunteers to help with set up, serve dinner, clean up, and help with other tasks. If you’re interested, please let me know.
(3) Dr. Alfred O. Taylor, Jr. will be speaking at the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington on October 23 at 7:00 pm about his book “Bridge Builders of Nauck/Green Valley: Past and Present.”
I spoke at last week’s School Board meeting (let me know if you want to see it). My focus lately has been very much on the County as a whole and on the idea that student success should not be dependent on the volume of parents advocating on their behalf (and I mean volume in both senses).
I’ve been finding a huge number of resources lately that I’d like to share (sorry, this is a bit of a fire hose):
(1) The Office of Equity & Excellence at APS has started Black Parent Alliance Meetings. I’m hoping this means an improvement in listening, amplifying, and following their voices for progress in our schools.
(2) The ACLU put out a very helpful tool related to voting along the lines of criminal justice reform and they created a tool so you can see how the candidates measure up. Just put in a zip code to see the results.
(3) The National League of Cities has a Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) initiative, which includes a helpful powerpoint presentation (PDF) that one of our members forwarded to me.
(4) DC Reinvest is working with neighborhoods to divest from Wells Fargo (something our local chapter of NAACP is working on doing as well) and might provide a model if community members want to push for this in our community (if it hasn’t already divested).
(5) Brooklyn is changing its middle-school admissions policies into a lottery for which schools must set aside a certain number of seats for low-income students. This could be a great model for choosing integration.
(6) A group member led me to the Zinn Education Project, which led me to rethinking schools and Teaching for Change. These organizations give me hope for improving education content. If any of you are interested in instructional content, please consider being the Advisory Council on Instruction rep for your school.
I’ll leave you with yesterday’s oped by Petula Dvorak.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.

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