Black Students Matter

by | Jun 1, 2020

Dear EPIC,

I know that I typically post something lighthearted on Monday mornings, but this is too important to ignore. Our Black students matter, and I don’t want to go another moment without saying it to them directly. These recent events have served as a chilling reminder of the pervasive culture of oppression our country perpetuates. I know that I cannot even claim to imagine the pain some of our students are feeling or the fear that must reside in them constantly. I know that some of you must be having difficult, but necessary conversations in an attempt to explain the injustice of privilege to your young ones.

I always strive to weave the threads of social justice through EPIC’s curriculum while honoring all of our students’ questions, especially the tough ones, with unwavering honesty. However, I know this is something I have not prioritized as heavily since the start of distance learning. I would like to change that as we enter our final month of distance learning by opening the floor to discuss issues of race and activism with students.

Our children are not too young to engage in these conversations. In fact, quite the opposite. The more we model these discussions and engage our young children in them, the more prepared they will be to engage with the world as active, inclusive citizens. To deprive them of these conversations at this age is to instill in them that race is a taboo topic and one to be avoided. We have a chance now to help these children think critically and combat bias from the start.

We make many intentional choices at EPIC to contradict the Euro-centric narratives that traditionally dominate the educational sphere; however, most of these are implicit. I would like to personally place a higher emphasis upon explicit actions we can take as a team to further welcome our students of color and to help our white students become strong allies. As parents, you play a crucial role in shaping your children’s perspectives in this arena as well, so I of course invite you to collaborate with us in creating a safe community that values open discussion.

I don’t have many answers, but I am always ready and willing to learn more from those around me and the world at large. I will be talking with the team this morning to begin an action plan for removing any barriers we may be inadvertently creating, and I invite you to reach out as well with your ideas, resources, and questions.

We cannot solve the issue of racism single-handedly, but together we can create an environment where our Black students feel safe and welcome. It is the least we can do for them.


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