The school year is done. Children have moved into a new grade, learned new skills, and are looking forward to some time at the pool. For adults, the end of the school year means we can start to reflect on what we did to help our children along and make schools better and more inclusive. (And hopefully also get to the pool for a summer swim!)
First, it’s important to offer a huge THANK YOU to all the adults—teachers, youth workers, parents, aunties, tios, administrators – for supporting our youth this entire year. In a year with school shooting tragedies nationwide, a national political climate full of intense issues, and the regular challenges of time and funding, you continued to make space for making our U.S. and Minnesota schools, in particular, places for learning and growing. You took care of our most precious state asset—our children—and for that, the staff at MnEEP hope you can take time to rest, reflect, and renew for a whole new school year in the fall.
In the spirit of reflection, I want to highlight some excellent organizations, websites, and video resources that can provide families, parents, and communities important insight and context for continuing to build racial equity in the coming school year. These resources vary from interesting nonprofits MnEEP staff have interacted with at a national level to TED talks we think might give you new concepts to think about.
Othering and Belonging: Dr. john powell is one of this country’s and the world’s prominent political scientists writing and presenting around systemic inequality and solutions for change. The “Othering and Belonging” conference, based out of Dr. powell’s HAAS Center for a Fair and Inclusive Society at University of California, Berkeley, is still one of the most impactful conferences I’ve attended to think about race equity in education strategy, arts & narrative shifting, and leading with equity frames and strategies. If you have time, check out http://conference.otheringandbelonging.org/about/ , where you can find 2017 keynote and workshop summaries and beautiful examples of how scholars, activists, and leaders are making new pathways for social justice. There’s also information for the April 2019 conference, which I highly recommend more educators and leaders attend next year!
Race Forward: Another national leading organization on the understanding of race equity analysis and leadership and communication strategy, Race Forward has some important media to help more people understand U.S. racial inequality and frames for solutions. The organization’s latest research findings focus on millennials, and media and narrative shifts., Registration information for September and October trainings on communicating race equity analysis October can be done here: https://www.raceforward.org/trainings
TED Talks on Education:
Sometimes we need to hear others talk from leaders innovating in the education ecosystem for greater inspiration, here some great TED talks to watch over a summer lunch:
Rita Pierson, “Every Kid Needs a Champion” https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion
Sir Ken Robinson, “Schools Kill Creativity”
Nadia Lopez, “Why Open a School? To Close a Prison”
Hoping these resources help lift your spirit and remind you about the reason we work together—to build a beloved community of hope, learning, and change. It takes all of us to learn, grow, and change our society. And sometimes, a good swim, helps us refresh and get ready for the coming challenges in the year ahead !