FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price
EduColor Collective Calls On All Educators To Confront White Supremacy, Including In Their Own Schools And Classrooms
EVERYWHERE, U.S: The recent events in Charlottesville, VA, and the ensuing counter-protests make clear the necessity for a better vision of schooling in this country. The fact that the original event happened in an academic space tells us that no academic space is truly neutral. If anything, our spaces for learning are riddled with evidence of unquestioned white dominance, from the curriculum, to who controls their operations, to who decides what — and whom — are worth memorializing. Given that reality, we support anyone who seeks to make historical amends via the removal of any symbol of the Confederacy. But our work does not stop there. American racism and hate goes beyond monuments and memorials.
As EduColor steering committee member Xian Franzinger Barrett writes so eloquently, it is not enough for educators to simply have a conversation. As he says, and we agree, it is an educator’s “duty to our profession, to our society and to the students to lovingly teach them to learn and grow as complete humans. The fact that the violent white supremacists in Charlottesville moved through dozens of classrooms that taught English, social studies, math, science and other subjects while nurturing or enhancing their white supremacist ideals is an indictment of our daily practice.”
As such, we call on school districts to revise and review curricula and practices that do not affirm our students’ humanity individually and as a whole. We call on superintendents and administrators to push for holistic and proactive conversations with parents and community members about power and identity, and to call out bigotry whenever and wherever it reveals itself. We also call on educators to actively listen and take appropriate action against oppression, fascism, and xenophobia, including in their classrooms and schools. Our schools are some of the most important institutions for us to undo racism and eradicate hate from, and we as adults have a responsibility to do this tough work. The hatred and racism represented by this violence is not unique to Charlottesville; similar is manifested in more subtle ways within our work and school environments. Let us continue to build, humbled by the recognition of these often inconvenient facts.