One of the 2020-2021 goals of the Genesee Hill teaching community is to address and dismantle white supremacy culture in education at our school. This has also been a goal of the Family Committee for Equity and Inclusion (FCEIGH) since its inception two years ago, as well as the staff Equity Leadership Team. In the last two years, these two Equity Teams have partnered to present our school community with equity book club gatherings, BIPOC speakers, listening circles and community-centered Unity Nights. It’s been a start; and this past spring, the family committee and staff committee began drafting an Anti-Racism Resolution to further lift up the intention of our shared anti-racism commitment, in order to address our impacts and begin to take tangible action steps and hold each other accountable.
Our shared understanding and acknowledgement of what white supremacy culture is and how we commit to anti-racism will make this moment a powerful movement in our community. Being anti-racist is not what we say about ourselves, but about what we do individually and together. This is where true change happens. In order to continue this process, we are asking everyone in our school community to read the resolution, share it widely, provide feedback, and attend the special meeting on October 26th to be part of the vote to adopt it. We want everyone to have the opportunity to engage in the process of creating our next steps … how will each of us support a shift in culture at our school?
As you read the resolution (viewable here), be aware that this is meant as an aspirational statement of intent. It is the widest possible net to state what we believe – that our community is anti-racist. Within the resolution there are broad statements of direction that highlight what we mean by this, but a resolution does not provide the map on how to get there. A resolution gives us a guidepost in which to strive toward; the impact the resolution will actually have on our community comes through in how we build out our actions. Together, we get to define these actions, and these actions will evolve over time as we evolve as a community.
- June-September: Anti-Racism Resolution was drafted and reviewed by our FCEIGH, GH staff Equity Leadership Team and administration, and PTA board. Staff adopted it and began work on their action plans.
- October 5: PTA Board approved the resolution draft for presentation to general PTA membership; called for a special meeting to review and adopt.
- October 13: PTA general membership approved the motion to hold a special meeting.
- October 20: Slido will be opened to gather feedback on the resolution. The Slido will remain open for one week here.
- October 26 at 7pm: Special meeting of the general PTA membership will be held to adopt the resolution. While all comments will be reviewed, the vote to adopt the resolution will go to PTA members. If you are not a member yet, you can sign up at any time (and the $15 fee should not be a barrier to participation; if you would like to request a waiver, please email firstname.lastname@example.org) Look for log in information for this meeting in the October 22nd bulletin.
At the October 26th meeting, we will hear an update from the staff Equity Leadership Team and the Family Committee for Equity and Inclusion about their current action plans to support the Anti-Racism Resolution, and we will begin the action planning for our wider community to engage with and direct the ongoing work of dismantling white supremacy culture at our school. We are excited to be able to adopt a school-wide resolution, knowing that it’s going to take all of us working together to create the tangible action steps that make anti-racism our shared reality. Your participation is needed as we continually build a more inclusive, welcoming and equitable school community. Please join me on October 26th!
PTA Equity Chair