As educators and allies, we must work to address the inequalities that result from institutionally racist policies and practices in our schools and the communities in which our students live.
We choose not to accept these conditions as they exist, and to accept the responsibility for changing them.
Social action is who we are. We have to stand up for ourselves, because if not, we're going to help perpetuate the systems that oppress our students. And that's not okay. –Gladys Márquez, IEA
All over the country, we are taking actions to address access and opportunity for all students, by highlighting inequities and increasing awareness, organizing for change, and growing the movement.
Racism is complex and contentious. Many of us are afraid to even broach the subject. It often feels easier and safer to avoid the topic altogether.
But silence and inaction reinforce the status quo. And avoidance speaks volumes — it communicates to students of color that racism doesn’t matter enough to warrant attention and, by omission, invalidates their experiences, perspectives, identities and lives. White students, on the other hand, often see racism being accepted and normalized, without acknowledgement or accountability.
To advance real solutions, we need to address real problems. As teachers, we have “teachable moments,” or opportunities to constructively and productively address race. But these opportunities need to be thoughtfully created, seized, planned and managed.
What we’re seeing right now is another boiling point in America: the effects of systemic and institutionalized racism coming to a head. Black Americans and their allies are coming together to stand up to injustices.