Facing Racism

How To Be An Aniracist

Written by Celeste Cramer

June 9, 2020

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences is committed to facing racism and providing an education that address how to be anti-racist. The school will join CSU, Chico and Butte College to teach from the Book In Common. Please read the letter that the principal, Becky Brown, wrote to her students after the death of George Floyd: 

 

Dear Inspire Students:

As we say goodbye to another difficult year, I want to acknowledge the events of the past weeks, and the extent to which the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police has deepened the wounds of our Black students and families. I want you to know that I stand with those calling for a reckoning of America’s past injustices and for a new commitment to live out our shared democratic values that include equal protection by law.

Inspire calls itself a School for Everyone, and our vision statement includes a commitment to providing a place for “all students to feel safe, appreciated, and respected.” You have seen the ways in which our teachers work to cultivate respectful spaces for discussions about race in the classroom: In Mrs. Travers’ and Mrs. DeLaTorres’ classes, you learned about the power of nonviolent protest to change racial injustice in societies; in Mr. Hill’s class, you discussed the ways that charismatic leaders could use the rhetoric of hate to deepen racial divides; for those who traveled with Sojourn to the Past, you heard, first-hand, the stories of those who fought for equal rights for Black Americans.

I know that it can be painful to look closely at the ways that, as a school, we are part of an American system of education that has either been complicit in–or played an active part in–expanding the stranglehold of racial injustice in our society. I also know that what Ta-Nehisi Coates says is true: “An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future.” Your Inspire teachers and staff commit to engaging in the long-term, difficult work of owning and addressing our biases, elevating the voices of those impacted by racial injustice, and putting our resources and energy toward positive change.

As you head into a well-deserved summer break, remember to listen, to be kind to each other, to stand up for what’s right, and to approach others with love, not hate. I hope you know that you can reach out to me with a phone call or email if you want to talk more.

With love, gratitude and hope,

Mrs. Brown

 

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