Let’s talk about racial equity

District Equity Team kicks off two-year study

Our District Equity Team met for the first time this week, kicking off a two-year study of racial equity in Bethel. The group will explore the behaviors, complexities and nuances of the district’s organizational culture.

Led by Racial Equity Consultants LLC, the District Equity Team is made up of staff, parents and community members. They will work together to:

  1. Develop a baseline assessment of current district equity practices.
  2. Create a multi-year district equity plan.
  3. Create a way to measure district equity, diversity and inclusivity success.
Image from “The myth of race, debunked in 3 minutes,” a video the District Equity Team watched and discussed at their first meeting.

Because of the nature of the conversations, the District Equity Team is working to create a safe, authentic space for these important discussions to take place.

To keep them focused, the group will focus on the history of race in the United States. During their first meeting they discussed the ways race has been classified in the U.S. Census.

According to the Pew Research Center, “Every U.S. census since the first one in 1790 has included questions about racial identity, reflecting the central role of race in American history from the era of slavery to current headlines about racial profiling and inequality.”

“For most of its history, the United States has had two major races, and until recent decades whites and blacks dominated the census racial categories. (American Indians were not counted in early censuses because they were considered to live in separate nations.) At first, blacks were counted only as slaves, but in 1820 a ‘free colored persons’ category was added, encompassing about 13% of blacks.” — Pew Research Center

The District Equity Team will meet again in January 2020.

Learn more

Listen: An audio series from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery

Read: What Well-meaning White People Need To Know About Race

Helping kids learn is the driving force behind all we do in the Bethel School District.

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