It is imperative that all school leaders provide opportunities for conversations surrounding questions like these. This cannot be just an hour at the beginning of the school year or a one-time position statement. There needs to be ongoing schoolwide and community-wide discourse and concrete action plans to ensure that we are not marginalizing students, parents, staff, or community members of color due to ingrained institutional traditions, rules, and/or mindsets. The one thing I am sure of is that I have a very limited set of skills and experiences in navigating this discussion and that my good intentions and genuine concern for all leaves me well short of the much higher standard that needs to be met when it comes to ensuring equity within the school district in which I work.
photo via Educolor.org
With all that is happening in our world, I cannot think of a more important hashtag than #educolor at this. I am concerned that the most prevalent sound bytes that we hear are ignoring the voice of people of color and leading to an imbalanced perspective. Ironically, an impromptu Twitter chat took place on the #educolor hashtag last night after a one-hour #edchat on the topic of racism in schools lacked a significant representation of educators of color.
Thankfully, Jose Vilson stepped up to the plate on the #educolor hashtag and asked the following critical questions for educators to reflect on to ensure that we are providing schools and classrooms that support our students of color:
//storify.com/patrickmlarkin3/a-pop-up-educolor-chat/embed?header=false&border=false//storify.com/patrickmlarkin3/a-pop-up-educolor-chat.js?header=false&border=false[View the story “A pop-up #Educolor Chat ” on Storify]
Fortunately, I have other educators who can enlighten and guide me beyond my shortcomings. The educators sharing personal perspectives on their experiences and work to ensure equity for students of color can be found on Twitter at #Educolor. We all need to listen, engage, and act.