We hope you are returning to your school refreshed, invigorated and ready for new adventures with your students.
ELEMENTARY STUDENT DIVERSITY DAY: As we agreed last year, we will be sponsoring our first Elementary Student Diversity Day (ESDD) in the spring of 2015. Last year, we worked as a group to develop a mission and vision to guide us. And over the summer, the steering committee for this event has made much progress in planning the details. Look for more information about this exciting event in an email and a postal mailing in the coming days. It is going to be great!
OTHER DIVERSITY EDUCATOR EVENTS: There are several events happening in the coming months of Fall, 2014. We are in the process of collecting information about some of them, and will post those here soon.
FERGUSON, MO: The news over the summer months has been heavy and constant, around the world and in our own backyard. So much of that news has been unsettling and hard to comprehend as ‘really happening’ here in our land of freedom and liberty. As confused and conflicted as we may be about the stories coming out of Ferguson, MO, just imagine how these might be affecting our young students. Some of them will have no idea of what is in the news. Others may have heard about these events from media reports, or listening to the adults around them in discussion. If the subject comes up, we as educators, should be prepared to help our students make sense of anything they have heard and questions they may have.
As always, we want to support our GPDC members in our common struggles involving issues of bias and justice. Below are several articles with information and guidance on talking to students about the recent events in Ferguson. Other helpful resources are imbedded in some of these, as well. And there is certainly more out there. Please share these with your staff as you deem necessary.
New York Times – Schools in Ferguson Prepare for Emotional Opening Day: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/25/us/schools-in-ferguson-area-prepare-for-an-emotional-opening-day.html?_r=1
Teaching Tolerance – Students Are Watching Ferguson: http://www.tolerance.org/blog/students-are-watching-ferguson
Teaching for Change – Teaching About Ferguson: http://www.teachingforchange.org/teaching-about-ferguson?utm_source=FBTW&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=20140822
NPR – Helping Students Make Sense: http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/08/15/340394980/helping-students-make-sense-of-a-young-black-mans-death-in-missouri
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility – What Happened in Ferguson and Why: http://www.morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment/lessons/what-happened-ferguson-and-why
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility – Exploring the mainstream media portrayal of Michael Brown: http://www.morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment/lessons/challenging-stereotypes-michael-brown-and-iftheygunnedmedown
Practical Theory: Blog article and syllabus for helping “young people grapple with and address the messiness of the world around them.” This was created by educators around the Jordan Davis killing, but the same theories apply. http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/5978