How Are Our Children?
I woke up this morning and asked how are our children? Living and working in the District of Columbia, our families and institutions are in the direct shadows of national leaders who abuse their power and engage in rhetoric that incites interpersonal hatred and bigotry while perpetuating and deepening the dangerous systemic oppression of people of color, namely black and brown people.
We stand together against the Trump administration's racist and militaristic rhetoric. We stand together against institutionalized racism and the murder, marginalization, and oppression of black and brown people. We speak the named of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other victims of police brutality. We turn grief into action and stand up for calls for justice and reform in the midst of a global pandemic -- another crisis that disproportionately impacts our black community. We are outraged, and we firmly stand by the Black Lives Matter movement.
How Do We Help our Children? The DC Collaborative will:
- Seek and provide opportunities for DEI workshops and trainings for our staff, board, and members
- Require organizations to demonstrate commitment to DEI for participation in the DC Collaborative's Arts and Humanities For Every Student (AHFES) program
- Request members to submit professional development (PD) training specifically-focused on anti-racism and bias in the Arts and Humanities for Every Student (AHFES) program submission form
- Work in direct collaboration with our Any Given Child DC Equity/ Access Committee on our DEI promise document to specifically include language that demonstrates our community's commitment to equity for black and brown students
- Work in direct collaboration with our Any Given Child DC Equity/ Access Committee to continue conversations with the arts and humanities community around DEI specific to anti-racism and institutional bias
- Invite community mobilization and activist stakeholders, including Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center, DC Area Educators for Social Justice and local representatives of Black Lives Matter, among others, for community discussions with our members at future 11:00 am virtual convenings and membership meetings
- Create a resource page on our website with information and related links on how to be an accomplice and tackle anti-racist work together
- Now more than ever our students' future depends on all of us working together.
Arts and humanities education is both a crucial tool for healing and storytelling and also a powerful catalyst for change. As members of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, we all must continue to work together on all fronts that directly support our black and brown children's learning and increase equitable access to our cultural institutions and educational programs.
Together, we must fulfill our collective impact work and the shared 23-year mission of the DC Collaborative by centering marginalized voices in our work and unpacking our own racism, both interpersonally and in our arts and humanities educational institutions and programs. We must acknowledge that, even as arts and humanities educational institutions and professionals with the best of intentions and training, institutional racism and systemic bias exists in our work. It is our duty to continue tackling inequity through tangible practices and a commitment to continued anti-racist work.
We accomplish more when we work together.
The DC Collaborative is refining our work to ensure that our words and actions reflect our commitment to breaking down the obstacles faced by our black and brown students and their families, educators, and cultural institution administrators.
With love, respect and solidarity,
Additional Resources Regarding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Anti-racism
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