We are grieving. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Our hearts are also with the countless others who have been impacted and devastated by racism, hate, bias, and/or violence.
The call for action cannot continue to go unanswered. We must activate to counter the forces that habitually marginalize communities of color.
More important than knowing when to lead is knowing when to follow. As allies, we are committed to listening to those within the Black community who are most impacted by the recent events of systematic racial targeting, and following their lead. As an organization, we are committed to being anti-racist and standing with our Black colleagues.
We recognize that implicit biases can drive us to further perpetuate unjust systems, unless we make ardent work out of unearthing our beliefs, experiences, inclinations, and reflexive thoughts about people because of the color of their skin. As an organization that is working to improve its diversity, equity, and inclusion, we have committed to challenging ourselves to grow and be brave in facing the ugliness of White privilege and anti-Black racism.
As educators, we have a duty to ensure that each and every student has a safe and nurturing space to grow, innovate, adapt, and excel. Our classroom communities must be free of structural racism, especially issues involving equity and access. In service to PEBC’s mission, we are committed to raising awareness about the impact of inequities in our education system and building a community of educators who work to achieve racial justice in their classrooms, schools, and communities.
This is not about us as an organization or as individuals – cultivating human dignity is all of our responsibility. Those with cultural, social, and/or economic power, access, and privilege have a heightened call to duty.
In this time of stress and uncertainty, it can be hard to know where to start. Following are just a few ways to join us in taking immediate action:
- Check and be aware of your privilege. When you encounter racist comments or behaviors, call attention to the behavior.
- Support local Black-owned businesses.
- Support policy changes that could help combat structural racism (especially issues involving equity and access for all communities).
- Listen to and follow the lead of those within the Black community.
We have a team working together to collect and disseminate some resources on this topic, as part of our Strategic Plan initiative on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Stay tuned.