I stand together against racism and remain committed to the bedrock social justice principles that our country was founded upon. I stand together in the fight against racism in our quest to create a more equitable world.
George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. And countless others, some known through the media while so many others are known only to their loved ones or their communities. Their names, their killings, the ongoing violence against the Black community whose legacy stretches back centuries leaves us saddened and outraged.
My heart goes out to their families and their communities. Their killings provide us with stark reminders of the biased criminal justice system, the all too frequent realities of police brutality without accountability, and the dehumanization of Black lives that many people endure every day of their lives. The systemic racism woven throughout the fabric of our nation is causing tremendous damage. Whether it’s the inequities in the educational system, financial system, housing market, or employment. We must do better.
This has placed a great burden and responsibility on social studies teachers. My goal is to strive to work to close this opportunity gap through the power of education. I just applied for a grant to read Stamped with my sociology class.
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. “This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future.” It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism is still around.
I also plan to start day 1 in all my classes with the idea of empathy through a video called Silent Beats. My students find the video very powerful in talking about racial stereotypes and the need for empathy in today’s society. I plan on discussing #blacklivesmatter with my classes and speak up if there is an injustice in our community. I also have a poster about #blacklivesmatter that I would like to hang up in my classroom but want to get admin support first.
On a personal note, I got this book for my kids. I want them to be more empathic and accepting of all people. My 3-year-old son told his dad about how “everyone has different skin colors but we are all the same.” How amazing would it be if everyone grew up without racial bias and stereotypes?
I believe in the power of education and that it can be a catalyst for change! I also have the humility to recognize I don’t have all the answers. But with an open mind, a giving spirit, and a listening ear, I hope to partner and be part of the solution.
What do you plan on doing this school year to address these inequalities and racial injustice?