We can't begin to understand this pandemic without talking about structural racism. And, we can't talk about racism without facing our history.
Every day reveals yet another connection between COVID-19 and racism, and other haunting echo of injustices past...
August 27, 2020: A study came out showing that in Massachusetts, as in other states, people of color have been hit hardest by COVID-19.
August 27, 1918 (history's echo): The deadly second wave of the Spanish flu erupted in Massachusetts; as with COVID-19, African Americans who caught the Spanish flu were hit the hardest.
August 28, 2020: An article came out showing that housing segregation plays a substantial role in health disparities, including COVID-19.
August 28, 1941 (history's echo): A racial covenant was formed in an upscale neighborhood in King County, WA, prohibiting non-whites from moving in; the legacy of such covenants continue to be felt today, structuring where racial groups—and COVID cases—are concentrated.
August 29, 2020: The news reported that COVID-19 outbreaks continue in jails, where people—disproportionately of color—are especially vulnerable.
August 29, 1955 (history's echo): The murderers of Emmett Till were arrested, only to be acquitted later by an all-white jury; privilege and oppression in the criminal justice system enabled tragic loss.
August 30, 2020: An article was published showing that K-12 remote learning is having a disparate impact on English learners and lower SES families.
August 30, 1954 (history's echo): Virginia launched a "massive resistance" to Brown v. Board of Education's desegregation order; schools remain intensely segregated today, with devastating impacts, and it is worsening.
August 31, 2020: The California Legislature adjourned for the year, leaving a large amount of unsolved, unfinished work related to COVID-19 and racism.
August 31, 1962 (history's echo): Activist Fannie Lou Hamer was flatly denied the right to vote; tactics have changed, but people of color remain underrepresented politically, and their needs are not always met.
Every day, there's something new—with echos of something old—24/7, 365/year, year after year after year. It's exhausting. Fannie Lou Hamer said it best: "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired." We are running a long, long marathon to promote community health in the midst of multiple, deeply rooted, intersecting crises. We must keep nourishing our own and each other's spirits. As promised, SHHS leaders are running this marathon alongside you. Our anti-racism efforts must be structural and deep, like the problem itself, and they will take time to root. We are laying the groundwork to address the realities of implicit bias; stereotype threat; gaps in cultural responsiveness; opportunity gaps; social determinants of health; and structural racism.
Thank you, as I will never tire of saying, for running this marathon together.
Pia and the SHHS Leadership Team
Visit Let's Talk for age-appropriate resources to talk with children about violence
- Coronavirus - Pandemics and Xenophobia
What we can’t control might frightens us. Anxiety and suspicion rose as the Coronavirus pandemic spread. Crises evaluate both our humanity and our vulnerabilities. The resources offered here are for teachers, parents and students to support ourselves and each other during this time.
- Conversations - lessons for advisories & GSAs
In the news...
TALKING POLITICS - Also see the Talking Politics section for many more resources
All Are Welcome - SOGIE affirming classrooms
HUMAN RELATIONS, DIVERSITY & EQUITY
All Are Welcome - welcoming classrooms
The Day Sport Stood Still - On August 26 and 27, many sports teams went on strike to draw attention to Black Lives Matter.
100 years Later - how women got the right to vote
Alike or Different - expanding vocabulary
Asking for Help - promoting help seeking behavior
Loving Yourself - self esteem and postive body image
Moving Forward - maintaining hope during COVID-19
What's in a Name? - lesson on identity
STORIES OF EXCELLENCE:
Dia de los Muertos - October 31 - November 2
National Day of Silence - April 23
Denim Day - April 28
- Conversations - training materials for staff
The Office of Human Relations, Diversity & Equity is happy to facilitate trainings for your school/work. The training materials here are longer in length than the ones in the advisories, and geared to an adult audience.
Back to School 2020 - technniques and tips for starting the year burnt out!
ENGAGING AND EMBRACING SOCIAL MEDIA:
- Let's Talk - Politics
"What truly makes our country great is its diversity. I've seen that beauty in so many ways over the years. Whether we are born here or seek refuge here, there's a place for us all. We must remember it's not my America or your America. It's our America." Michelle Obama, 2019
In times of conflict, divisive rhetoric, and information overload, students benefit from opportunities for meaningful dialogue about the issues that we are facing today. Let’s Talk has articles and lesson plans on crises and conflicts, politics and government.
- Now Matters Later
- Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity/Expression (SOGIE)
- Stories not Stigma - You, Me, Us
- Be the Change. It's Our Planet. It's Our Future. Act Now.
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