When Property Value Discussions Cloak White Privilege and Ignorance

Happy August!
One of our members let me know about Rachel Cargle (and some of her work is here). Her posts led me to this article by Danielle Slaughter, which is Awareness 101 for white women in this space.
A member also shared this article and the title alone makes it a worthwhile read.
Doorways in Arlington is holding its annual Back to School Campaign to help and there are options for how to donate. And a reminder that APAH has a similar program for providing school supplies for children living in their affordable housing properties.
I saw a discussion about this article on another email group which shows some of the subtle perceptions we’re trying to address in our community.
(1) School zone does not convey with a home purchase, but many local residents are very committed to “property value” discussions related to their school zone. Which simply leads me to ask what they are doing to advocate for making ALL district schools equal so home values are not so affected by school zone changes. The only reason home values fluctuate when school zones change is because of public opinion of what makes a “good school.” Test scores are a biased form of ranking and do not reflect the quality of a school accurately.
(2) Read this article with an eye for phrases like “quality of life,” “keeping the neighborhood safe and comfortable,” and, of course, this quote, “We bought these schools and the house came with them.” The implications are that these desires of the residents of this particular neighborhood are what set it apart from other parts of our county, when in fact I imagine that nearly all local residents desire to have quality of life, good schools, and safety. The fact that significant disparities exist within our County should instead be motivation for addressing those inequities, not touting them as though the residents of that neighborhood had an intentional impact on making it that way or did something special (it happened passively through their privilege).
I saw this article in the Washington Post over the weekend and have already reached out to the two women who are featured in the article. Also, one of my neighbors is offering to put in a bulk order of the Hate Has No Home Here yard signs (we have one in our yard already), so please let me know if you want to join in on that order. The anti-hate actions are a good sign — community members are standing up more clearly to the overt signs of hate and racism. Let’s keep that momentum going to address the covert versions, which are harder to see and harder to address. That’s why we’re all here!
And this morning, I saw a very interesting article by Courtland Milloy about teachers choosing to learn about how to teach slavery, including several quotes from local teachers. It sounds like at least one (white) teacher was able to listen to and follow the feedback provided by teachers of color during the workshop. I’m glad Stratford Hall (Lee’s birthplace) is providing such relevant content and programming.
Related to school equity issues, the school district issued an update on the elementary boundary process, which starts right away this fall. For more details, go here.
Listen, Amplify, Follow.

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