Speaking Up and Educating Yourself

Hi Friends!
I hope you’re all enjoying spring!
I spoke at the March 14 School Board meeting during the Diversity Report agenda item. The diversity report presentation starts at 1:21:20, my comments start at 1:42:38, and the question/comment period by the School Board and Superintendent continues after I speak. The meeting was picked up by the Sun Gazette and posted on Inside Nova. It’s worth listening to the School Board comments and questions. I will be following up on the Chair’s request of the Superintendent to create a proposal with a timeline, budget, and action items following the report. We have to hold everyone accountable so this doesn’t just get shelved or ignored. If you’re on one of the many advisory committees/groups for the School Board or Superintendent, this is your chance to push for action, to raise equity as a focus, to ask pointed questions. We all have to push to get our leaders to take action.
I’m also working on talking points around the Superintendent’s proposed budget, so if you have input on anything that is related to equity (and really, all of the cuts will likely affect disadvantaged students more), please share with me so I can include them. It’s a big document and I may not get through the whole thing. I plan to speak at the March 28 meeting and possibly also at the County meeting. If anyone wants to join me, please let me know! Our priorities are to (1) raise awareness about how cuts affect disadvantaged students and how they undermine our goal of equity; and, (2) push the School District and the County to put their money where their mouths are for Equity. The more they hear from the public, the more likely their perspectives will start to shift. I honestly don’t know how likely it is that we can impact this year’s budget, but it’s still worth speaking up.
I spoke at the March 28 School Board Budget Hearing (my comments begin at 2:15:46). More importantly, before me, there was a large number of students speaking up in the name of equity, some related to the Equity and Excellence positions and some related to the Crew teams at the high schools. It was really impressive and their voices deserve to be amplified. I’ll likely be there when the School Board presents its own proposed budget on April 11. Let me know if you want to join me!
I wanted to say a little more about the Allyship Workshop I attended last month. One of the facilitator’s main points was to encourage allies to approach confronting racism in an inviting way rather than shame or shutdown (except when someone is in danger). The reason is that if we think of everyone on a continuum of allyship and racism, we want to move them along the path to allyship rather than pushing them further into racism. And the best news is that they’re having another one on May 7 and 14!
I’m also going to be facilitating a conversation about How to Talk to Kids About Race on April 22 from 7–9 pm at UUCA. It’s coordinated with our kids’ preschool, so if you’re interested, please let me know and I can make sure we have enough space. Please come! If there’s a huge turnout or we can’t accommodate everyone, we’ll have another one, so please help us gauge interest. This was inspired partially by the Challenging Racism presentation hosted by MONA, which many of our community members weren’t eligible to attend.
(1) Washington Post article by Theresa Vargas regarding the higher education admissions scandal.
(2) A Medium post by Lecia Michelle, which links to another by Rev. Elizabeth Rawlings regarding white supremacy especially for white women. Please read both.
(3) The Southern Poverty Law Center sent out a great article about why racism is such a big problem in the US.
(4) The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness shared a list of Resources to Help Develop Knowledge and Solutions for Tackling Racial Inequity.
(5) A group member shared that the Antiracist Research and Policy Center is hosting the 1st Annual National Antiracist Book Festival at American University in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 27. More information is here. This is a ticketed event and most sessions are $15 each.
(6) “How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords” by Richard Florida in CityLab
(7) “Why Can’t We Close the Racial Wealth Gap?” by Brentin Mock in CityLab
(8) “Managing unconscious bias and talking to kids about race” by Rachel Nania and the book in the article, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt
(9) “Teaching First-Graders About Microaggressions: The Small Moments Add Up” by Bret Turner at Teaching Tolerance
(10) IntegratedSchools shared a recent podcast with Dr. David Kirkland and transcribed the interview
(11) “When Feminism is White Supremacy in Heels” by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle
(12) “What Do You Do When Someone Makes a Racist Remark?” by Rachel L. Swarns
(13) “Calling the police on black people isn’t a Starbucks problem. It’s an America problem.” by Karen Attiah
(14) “As Suburbs Diversify, the Legacy of School Segregation Persists” by Anna Rhodes and Siri Warkentien at How Housing Matters
(15) “Succeeding While Black” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
(1) SURJ-DC is hosting an Orientation/Welcome session on April 14 from 2–4 pm
(2) Challenging Racism is hosting another book club, this time on Multiplication is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit
(3) Destination 2027 (health equity) and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families will be presenting their respective Community Reports on April 10 from 4–5 pm at the Central Library Auditorium.
(4) Arlington Neighborhood College (civic leadership development program) is accepting applications for the 2019 program until April 5.
Keep working!
Listen. Amplify. Follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.