Systemic Racism is Everywhere

Hi Friends!
Hooray about the voting results in Virginia and Arlington!
Sorry for the delay again this week — so many things happening in the world of local educational equity work! I’m going to use this opportunity to catch up on some resources and opportunities that have come my way.
- We need all of our SB members and key APS staff to read this as APS works to hire its first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer — The Challenging, Often Isolating Work of School District Chief Equity Officers (Christina A. Samuels in Education Week 10/22/19).
- Theresa Vargas (The Washington Post 11/6/19) highlights the maternal and infant mortality crisis, which seems to be getting worse and affects families of color more acutely.
- An older article from 2013, this highlights literacy as a civil rights issue (Joseph J. Dunn in America Magazine 11/20/13).
- A group member shared “Keeping Black Girls in School” from The Brian Lehrer Show at WNYC (11/1/19) about Monique Morris’s documentary “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” (she founded the National Black Women’s Justice Institute).
- I wanted to remind our group about Hold The Line Magazine, which recently released their Line Leaders Guide (for purchase) to facilitate conversations and socially conscious thinking with our children.
- A group member shared “How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time” from Baratunde Thurston’s TED2019 talk (April 2019).
- The criminalization of homelessness is another example of criminalizing poverty, which affects people of color more frequently, and is often upheld in the name of “public safety” when the reality is another civil rights violation and not a useful solution to the issue of homelessness.
- For those of you working on environmental activism, the NAACP sees this work as directly tied to racial and economic equity.
- For those of you working on gender equality activism, the NAACP and the National Black Justice Coalition see this work as a civil rights issue.
The good/bad thing about systemic racism is that no matter what your area of expertise/comfort, there are ways to bring racial and economic activism into your work. It’s EVERYWHERE.
- EmbraceRace is hosting a webinar called “Doing Race, Family & Culture through Transracial Adoption” on November 19. Register here.
Housing Arlington: Community Conversation Series — November 12 is the last one, online only, about Housing & Equity.
- “Learn From This Place: Bringing Arlington to Halls Hill” on November 13 (free, but registration is required).
- Arlington Democrats are hosting an issue forum on “Pathways to Housing Affordability” on November 12.
- Arlington County wants to know how it should spend its money! It’s budget season (again). Here’s one way to participate. There will be more opportunities to weigh in on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) later in the year. Here’s a graphic of the timeline.
APS annual school calendar review — if you complete the survey, please add in your comments at the end that APS and Arlington County should remove “Columbus Day” from their calendars and replace it with “Indigenous People’s Day” or something similar. The more they hear from people about this, the more likely it will be to happen. It’s not the main point of the survey, but we should take every opportunity to speak up.
APS Elementary Boundaries and Planning Initiative — lots of information, community questionnaire open until November 24.
APS English Learners Program Evaluation — Work Session October 22 — click on meetings, then October 22 work session, then agenda to see relevant linked documents. From a group member, “Take a look at the report, English learners program eval report. WestEd did the evaluation and worked with APS staff to collect classroom observations and such. Go to the findings section, starting on page 30… you’ll see vignettes of what was observed and what is possible (culturally responsive pedagogy), starting on page 34. These were really good because it not only provides examples of what happens currently at APS, but what can be improved at APS.”
Keep engaging in the work. And if anyone is interested in meeting to chat about these things (or others) in person, either one-on-one or in a group, please reach out and I’ll be happy to put together a topic discussion.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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