NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Tag: Anti-racism

Enough with playing it nice and safe in the fight against anti-Blackness.

It seems that a healthy handful of White folks wait to express their outrage and disgust over racial injustice after a highly publicized or sensationalized tragedy takes place. Often, after a new hashtag begins trending on social media, a variety of tweets and posts speaking out against anti-Blackness and anti-Black violence soon follow. Which, I suppose, is fine, but very few extend far beyond their comfort zone in their advocacy efforts. This is not to say that allyship in any form is not helpful, but it’s time to start being clear about what is needed and what ultimately perpetuates White supremacy and further insulates White guilt. Let’s be honest: to combat anti-Blackness in America, we don’t need allies. We need abolitionists.

We Don’t Need Allies, We Need Abolitionists

While following the Derek Chauvin trial, I’ve noticed one common theme that also struck me immediately following the gruesome killing of George Floyd – White people speaking out against racism after the fact. It seems that a healthy handful of White folks wait to express their outrage and disgust over racial injustice after a highly publicized or sensationalized tragedy takes place.

What it Means to Be an Anti-racist Teacher

We have to deconstruct the way that science is taught, the concepts that are included and the concepts that are excluded, because what we’re not talking about is also a problem—those silences in our curriculum are problematic.

Lorena Germán has worked in education for nearly 20 years. As director of pedagogy at EduColor, chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English, and co-founder of Multicultural Classroom, she has advocated for culturally sustaining pedagogy and practices. Nearly three years ago, Germán joined together with educators Tricia Ebarvia, Dr. Kim Parker, and Julia E. Torres to form #DisruptTexts, a grassroots movement encouraging K-12 English teachers to rethink their approach to teaching the “classics,” including deciding whether they need to teach them at all. In 2019, she published The Anti Racist Teacher: Reading Instruction Workbook, a resource to help educators develop anti-racist practices in their ELA classes. And late last year, Germán sat down with then-TT Professional Development Manager Val Brown to discuss the damage white supremacy causes in education—and the uplift inherent in reimagining the process. Their conversation included here, has been edited for length and clarity.

 

What it Means to Be an Anti-racist Teacher

Lorena Germán has worked in education for nearly 20 years. As director of pedagogy at EduColor, chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English and co-founder of Multicultural Classroom, she has advocated for culturally sustaining pedagogy and practices.

Anti-racism Resoultion Passes in Madison

The Madison County School Board passed this resolution on a 5-0 vote at their July virtual meeting. Since then, we’ve been informed that Culpeper has adopted it and that Rappahannock is in the process of building support to do the same. A anti-racism task force is being convened to begin the work of turning the resolution into official policy.


Resolution condemning racism and affirming the division’s commitment to an inclusive school environment for all.

Whereas, the Madison County School Board has, in the initial section of its policies entitled “Foundation and Basic Commitment,” affirmed its commitment to nondiscrimination and noted that that this commitment “prevails in all of its policies and practices concerning staff, students, educational programs and services, and individuals and entities with whom the Board does business.”

Whereas, there is ample anecdotal evidence that this commitment, particularly with respect to race, has been more of an aspiration than one we have steadily and fully accomplished,

WHEREAS, members of the Madison County School Board, as well as the Madison County Public Schools staff, are saddened and outraged by recent events that demonstrate the prejudice and injustice that persists in our country;

WHEREAS, racism and hate have no place in our schools or our society, and we must protect the Constitutional rights of every person who lives, works and learns in our community;

WHEREAS, recent events and realities require us to LISTEN  to those who have endured discrimination and to LEARN through a deeper engagement with our community in meaningful and honest conversation about racial inequality.

WHEREAS, because of these events and realities we cannot be silent. We must act urgently to stop the racial injustice that harms and anguishes black people, who are our family, friends, neighbors, students, staff members and fellow Americans;

WHEREAS, we must lead. Each of us, individually and collectively, is responsible for creating and nurturing an anti-racist learning environment where every child is respected and valued for who they are, regardless of their skin color. We must actively acknowledge, address and prevent racial bias that occurs as a result of division policies, practices and actions; and WHEREAS, we must do better. Our school division can be and will be a sanctuary of safety in our community and a beacon of light for the world, as we build and strengthen trust with those we serve, and we model the acceptance of all people.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, members of the Madison County School Board, stand steadfast in our commitment to foster an inclusive educational environment where every student, teacher, support professional, parent and community member is treated with dignity and respect, as well as our commitment to continue fighting for racial justice and human and civil rights for all.

FURTHER, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we fully support the Madison County Public School Administration’s commitment to confronting racial injustice and making equity central to our work. This will involve continuing to take a closer look at our policies, our curriculum, and our daily interactions.

FURTHER, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we fully support the Madison County Public School’s formation of an Equity Task Force involving concerned students, parents, staff, and community members to help us fulfill our commitment to nondiscrimination.

Approved by the Madison County School Board this 13th  day of July  2020.

Signed:

Karen Allen
Vice Chair
kallen@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Nita Collier
School Board Member
nitacollier@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Angela Eichelberger
School Board Member
aeichelberger@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Arthur Greene
School Board Member
agreene@madisonschools.k12.va.us

Barry Penn Hollar
Chairman of the Board
bpennhollar@madisonschools.k12.va.us

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