County Logo, Internet Access, and Pods

Hi Friends,

I hope you’re all well and finding balance in your awareness of the difficulties that surround each one of us and in the self-care that will help you continue to engage in this work. We’re working hard to put together some workshops and discussion sessionsPlease fill out this survey by August 5 to share your preferences so we can make some arrangements.

I know many of you are hearing about (and maybe considering) learning pods. Please read the latest post at Integrated Schools “On COVID-19 and Micro-schooling, Pods, and more” (7/22/20), including, “If we truly care about equity, we need to consider plans focused on the most vulnerable, not the most inconvenienced.” The whole thing is really worth reading, grappling with, reading again, digesting, reading again, talking about (calmly!) with trusted friends, internalizing…. Make the questions they pose in this post part of your new normal. They even talk about how people have responded in the comments, described as “spicy.” There are also very helpful additional resources linked at the beginning. Please engage with this. And consider advocating for something like this: Dominic Fracassa writes about “‘Learning hubs opening across SF to help 6,000 kids in need with distance education” (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/23/20).

I have some amazing local action items for you this week:

(1) Doorways is holding its annual Back to School Campaign. You can sponsor a child by providing a backpack, supplies, and a gift card for back-to-school clothes shopping. I believe there is another backpack campaign happening with several safety-net nonprofits (including OAR), but I don’t have the details yet. I’ll share when I see it.

(2) I have heard about an effort to address the wireless challenges in Arlington County. Please check out the information by ArlFiber and their “campaign to have Arlington County form a broadband authority to convert part of its ConnectArlington dark fiber network into a software defined open access network.” I heard from Arlington County Board members today that they are working on many possible avenues to making internet access a public utility like water and electricity. They need to hear from members of the public about our support for giving everyone in the county affordable or subsidized access to the internet in their homes. It sounds like the recent Comcast deal is not as successful as they had hoped.

(3) With permission, I am amplifying efforts by Carolynn Kane and Emma Violand-Sanchez about the Arlington County seal and logo and their roots in racism. Once you see it, you cannot unsee it. Please speak up about this and show our elected leaders that this cannot stand and must be changed, in coordination with the other efforts already underway to rename roads and places and to show that our symbols matter.

- Laura Bliss writes about how “Silicon Valley Is Jumping on the Microschool Bandwagon” (CityLab, 7/23/20)
- Linda Darling-Hammond writes about “The Urgency of Reopening Schools Safely” (Forbes, 7/21/20)
- Tara Garcia Mathewson writes about “Kids with disabilities blocked from bilingual programs” (The Hechinger Report, 7/14/20)
- Anna Maier, Sarah Klevan, and Naomi Ondrasek write about “Leveraging Resources Through Community Schools: The Role of Technical Assistance” (Learning Policy Institute, 7/17/20)
- Eric Shieh writes “TEACHER VOICE: Reimagine schools? We must widen our starting points.” (The Hechinger Report, 7/10/20)
- Simone Stolzoff writes “How Would You Reimagine Learning? 5 Visions for Our Post-COVID Future” (Ideo, 6/30/20)
- Pamela Melgar writes “STUDENT VOICE: ‘I worry that the coronavirus is going to erase access to opportunity for low-income students and students of color’” (The Hechinger Report, 7/21/20)
- Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice created “A Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity Throughout Data Integration” (PDF) which relates to the importance of data sharing and integration in decision making in all levels of government and that racial equity must become central in that process.
- Kayla Svedin writes “OPINION: When black parents benefit from school choice, it doesn’t perpetuate racism” (The Hechinger Report, 7/15/20)
- Jennifer Blatz writes about how the “Cradle to Career Network serves as change agents in crisis” (Strive Together, 7/21/20)
- Jill Barshay writes “PROOF POINTS: Survey reveals stark rich-poor divide in how U.S. children were taught remotely during the spring school closures” (The Hechinger Report, 7/27/20)
- Integrated Schools had a recent podcast with “IntegrateNYC: Youth Voice for Real Integration” and also shared “The Integrated Schools Movement: Where We Begin” streamed webinar (7/13/20)
- Jackie Mader writes “Parents are panicking, giving up their careers and spending thousands of dollars on piecemeal solutions for the school year” (The Hechinger Report, 7/22/20)
- Claire Cain Miller writes “In the Same Towns, Private Schools are Reopening While Public Schools Are Not” (New York Times, 7/16/20)

The Wall of Moms in Portland, Oregon is inspiring. The statement on their front page is important to read and internalize:

  • “We listen to Black leaders. We are here to follow their direction, behind the scenes and at the justice center. We go where they tell us.
  • “Our goal is to push the media to turn the focus where it belongs: Black leaders.
  • “We will use our white bodies, not our white voices.
  • “Bev’s vision was that we moms would take some physical hits in hopes our Black and Brown kids, friends, neighbors, and loved ones will be spared some pain. To summon that mom warrior spirit to protect our kids — ALL our kids. To let the Feds/cops hit, gas, shoot us first. Not to be the voice of the movement.
  • “A lot of us haven’t put our bodies in harms way like this. It’s really scary and awful. But it’s what’s been happening to Black and Brown bodies for years.”

- SURJ posted “Solidarity with Portland & a Call to Action” (Medium, 7/24/20)

- Olamide Goke-Pariola writes “All Black Lives Matter” (Arlington Magazine, 7/21/20)
- The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a rule change “that would remove protections against discrimination of transgender and gender non-conforming people experiencing homelessness, severely limiting their ability to access emergency shelters and services.” LGBTQ+ advocates have created Housing Saves Lives to raise awareness and encourage the public to submit comments by September 22.
- The Arlington Branch of the NAACP Executive Committee voted on July 23 in favor of removing School Resource Officers (SROs) from APS.
- If you tried to subscribe to Symone Walker’s School Board campaign updates and had difficulty figuring out how to do that, they have added a button on the main campaign website “Join the Mailing List!” that you can use now. Thanks to those of you who let me know there were some barriers there — the campaign was very responsive to your feedback and appreciated your suggestions.
- I would like to call attention to the recent 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), one of many civil rights protections that is only as good as our ability to support and enforce it. Consider your ability privilege and how you play a role in advocating for equal opportunity. Related to this, Susan Mizner writes “COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes are Not Unavoidable — They are the Result of Deadly Discrimination” (ACLU, 6/23/20)
Please make sure you can vote in November! From the non-partisan League of Women Voters: “November may seem far away, but it’s not too early to make sure you are registered to vote. If you are concerned about going to the polls this year, it’s easy to vote by mail. You can request your ballot now, and you don’t need an excuse. Go to to register, update your registration, or request your ballot or call the registrar at 703 228–3456. The deadline to register is October 13, and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 23. Don’t wait! You can request your ballot NOW and it will be sent to you closer to the election.”
- I’m highlighting the Dream Project, based in Arlington, which focuses on mentoring, scholarships, community building, and advocacy for immigrant students.

Keep up the work!

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Indigenous Rights and Equity Concerns Across the Board

Hi Friends!

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of John Lewis. He was one of the voices I knew I could count on speaking up with power and experience and his voice will be missed. You can learn more about his life and legacy at “John Lewis: Good Trouble — Virtual Cinema” from the NAACP (rental fee supports the NAACP). Many tributes were written in his memory:
- The NAACP wrote a tribute
- Barack Obama wrote a tribute
- Lecia Brooks at the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote a tribute
- Black Lives Matter wrote a tribute, including for Revered Dr. Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian

- EmbraceRace is hosting a two-part “Conversation about Raising Multiracial Kids” (July 23 and July 28)
- Arlington Democrats are hosting a “Town Hall: Criminal Justice Reform in Special Legislative Session” TONIGHT from 7:00–8:30 pm, which will be streamed live on Facebook.
- PBS has a Virtual Professional Learning Series, which is created for teachers, but has a broad focus that is useful to anyone, particularly about “Tools for Anti-Racist Teaching” and “Talking to Children Authentically about Race and Racism”
- Service Never Sleeps has two upcoming Allyship Snapshot Trainings on July 31 and August 11.
- SURJ NoVa Community Hour TONIGHT from 7:00–8:00 pm
- SURJ NoVa is hosting “Collecting Our Cousins: Engaging Friends + Family in Anti-Racism” on July 26 from 7:00–9:00 pm.

- The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) highlighted some local history in “Honoring the Proud African American Legacy on the Pike” (2/13/19)
- Lee Highway Alliance announced that it’s working with Arlington County to rename Lee Highway. (7/17/20)
- Virginia is the first state in the South to have passed the CROWN Act, which “explicitly added discrimination on the basis of natural hairstyles to the definition of race discrimination under these [civil rights] statutes.” (ACLU Virginia, 7/16/20)
- Sydney Johnson interviewed Samia Byrd, Arlington’s new Chief Race and Equity Officer (Arlington Magazine, 7/19/20)
- From SURJ NoVa, “Thanks to the sustained work of LaColectiVA and the efforts of the For Us Not Amazon coalition, Arlington County PD is no longer seeking a partnership with Amazon Ring!” There’s a map you can check to see if your local police are partnering with Amazon Ring.

- Karen Grigsby Bates “What’s In A ‘Karen’?” (NPR, 7/15/20)
- Fredrick C. Harris writes about “The Rise of Respectability Politics” (Dissent Magazine, winter 2014), which I would like to pair with Whitney Alese’s “7 Reasons Why Respectability Politics are BS” (Medium 7/6/18)
- The Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley has some really interesting resources and conversations to peruse.
- The Meyer Foundation has a Racial Equity Toolkit with lots of resources, including white culture, equity lens in action, hiring and employment practices, and anti-racism.
- Destiny Thomas writes that “‘Safe Streets’ Are Not Safe for Black Lives” (Bloomberg CityLab, 6/8/20)
- Darnell Grisby writes “To Fight Racism, Transit Has a Key Role” (Bloomberg CityLab, 7/20/20)
- Daniel Bergner writes “‘White Fragility’ Is Everywhere. But Does Antiracism Training Work?” (New York Times, 7/15/20)
- Shawn Donnan writes “Black Neighborhoods Miss Out on Stimulus and Fall Further Behind” (Bloomberg CityLab, 7/15/20)
- Robert Samuels writes “Stumbling towards wokeness” (Washington Post, 7/15/20)
- The Washington Post published “Resources to understand America’s long history of injustice and inequality” (7/14/20)

- The Lakota People’s Law Project, among others, has been fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for years (remember Standing Rock? It’s still going on.), and while they had a ruling in their favor earlier this month, the oil company continues to fight back.

If you’re interested in learning more about indigenous rights, here are some resources:
Cultural Survival “envisions a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance.”
- The exhibition IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES).
Indigenous Peoples Movement
Indian Law Resource Center and “The American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

- The Alliance for Housing Solutions has a recent Eviction Update (7/16/20). They also advocate for missing middle housing and coordinate the AHS Missing Middle Network, which you can apply to join here.
Arlington For Everyone has a recent interview with Stephen D’Alessio about his experience volunteering with Arlington Community Corps. (7/10/20)
- Arlington County released the third research bulletin in its Missing Middle Housing Study
- Margaret Barthel writes “Northern Virginia Clergy Urge Northam To Put Pause On Evictions” (DCist, 7/18/20)

- I want to highlight our local organization, Arlington for Justice, which is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Arlington Launches Review of Police Policies and Practices and the resulting Police Practices Work Group includes wonderful representatives of our community! This will be a group to watch. (7/16/20)
- David Hughes writes “I’m a Black Police Officer. Here’s How to Change the System.” (New York Times, 7/16/20)

- Symone Walker writes “We Need to Address Redlining in Education” (Arlington Magazine, 7/16/20)
- Michael A. DiNapoli Jr. writes about “Making School Budgets Whole and Equitable During and After COVID-19” (Learning Policy Institute, 7/17/20)
- Cory Turner shares his concerns about “A Looming Financial Meltdown For America’s Schools” (NPR, 5/26/20)
- For your awareness, “Devos Sued by Public School Parents, NAACP, and School Districts to Block Illegal Rule that Diverts Critical COVID-19 Aid from Public Schools to Private Schools” (SPLC, 7/22/20)
- Laura Meckler and Hannah Natanson write “For the parents who can afford it, a solution for fall: Bring the teachers to them.” (Washington Post, 7/17/20)

I’m currently reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo — I’d love to discuss it with you!

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Local Resources and Actions, plus Conversation Guidance

Hi Friends!

First, a huge THANK YOU to Frank Rusco, one of our group members, who wrote “Make This Moment a Movement!” in Arlington Magazine. What a wonderful, honest, thoughtful, encouraging piece. And he mentions us!

I did want to remind everyone that my weekly posts (not the other group email traffic) are posted on Medium and at White Folks Facing Race. We also have a Facing Race in Arlington Facebook page. The Blogger website also has an awesome Resource List, a Start Here page, and an About Me page now. If you’re looking for a resource about something in particular, the Resource List is broken into sections. There’s also a search function on the site. Keeping the Resource List updated with all of the resources I have shared is a time management challenge for me, so if anyone wants to help with that, just let me know.

I want to strongly suggest that you sign up for Symone Walker’s campaign updates. She’s a friend of mine and a group member and is a colleague with me at the NAACP (and co-chair of the Education Committee). But honestly, even if you have already decided who you’re voting for in the School Board race this November, her campaign updates have so much valuable information in them that everyone should read them. I learned key things about school reopening and changes in state legislation that affect students and discipline in our schools. She is already doing the work of advocating and educating our community members about issues affecting our students and families. She’s also hosting “Let’s Talk About It — Getting Real About Racism” tomorrow, Thursday, July 16 at 7:00 pm. You can find out more about her and the event (and her campaign) at Symone for Students.

Webinar: Asserting Special Education Rights in the Time of Coronavirus — Thursday, July 16 from 12–1 pm, presented by Juliet Hiznay, an Arlington local and Special Education Advocate-Attorney.
- APS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion office’s Community Engagement efforts, including the Summer Student Series — the next one is on July 22.
- Exciting local news — The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington has reopened! I highly recommend a visit and/or a donation.

- Nia Evans and Kayla Patrick write about why “Black Girls Need Police-Free Schools” (Education Post, 7/8/20)
- I’m sharing an action posted by Arlington for Justice — Arlington County Chief Jay Farr is retiring before the end of the year.
- Kunlyna Tauch writes “I Am Not Your ‘Other’” (The Marshall Project, 7/9/20)
- David Marchese discussed defunding the police with Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago (New York Times, 6/22/20)

- Linda Poon writes about a lack of data on disease outbreaks in high poverty neighborhoods and how systemic racism is present in medical care.

- A group member shared: Sara M. Moniuszko writes a guide for “How to talk to your family, friends about racism and white privilege” (USA Today, 7/6/20)
- Megan McArdle (not someone I normally read) writes “How to explain systemic racism to non-liberals like me” which gave me more ideas for how to have some of these difficult conversations (Washington Post, 7/14/20)
- A group member recommended the Beyond Diversity Resource Center, which offers great resources for conversations and group discussions. They are hosting a virtual, two-day Summer Institute on Race on August 6–7.

- Arturo E. Holmes II writes “I’m a black doctor. I wear my scrubs everywhere now.” (Washington Post, 7/10/20)
- Nneka McGuire writes about Bakari Sellers’ new book, My Vanishing Country: A Memoir, and its connection to James Baldwin and his essential words and work (Washington Post, 6/19/20).
- Christian Cooper wrote an op-ed about “Why I have chosen not to aid in the investigation of Amy Cooper” (Washington Post, 7/14/20)
- Maura Judkis writes about how “Anti-racism trainers were ready for this moment. Is everyone else?” (Washington Post, 7/8/20)
- Nahliah Webber writes “If You Really Want to Make a Difference in Black Lives, Change How You Teach White Kids” (Education Post, 6/29/20)
- Kailee Scales with the Black Lives Matter Global Network writes that “Information is Power. Disinformation is Dangerous.” (Medium, 7/8/20)
- Jeffery Robinson writes “It’s Time To Tell the Truth About the Confederacy and its Symbols” (ACLU, 7/3/20)

Listen. Amplify. Follow.