Scroll to the end of this letter to see the list of resources compiled by Adelaide Eveleigh Lancaster.
At The College School, we are united in our commitment to stand for racial equity and social justice for all people. Each of us brings different experiences and perspectives into our community. The work of building authentic relationships and bravely and safely examining our ideas around race, and other ways in which individuals identify differently isn’t easy, but it is crucial. It is work we are committed to doing. The events in Charlottesville last weekend were antithetical to all we stand for as a school and all we strive to become. Hate speech, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and persecution on the basis of sexual identity have no place in the community we want to be. We were deeply disturbed by the events that took place in Charlottesville and we unequivocally denounce perpetrators of hatred. At The College School, one of our core values is that “we believe in the richness and power of an inclusive, transparent, diverse community” which is equitable for all.
The College School renews its responsibility to stand together and work passionately and intentionally for equity, inclusion, and justice for all people. Under the leadership of Vincent Flewellen, our Director of Equity and Inclusion, we are examining racism and biases—in our day-to-day lives, our own institution, and the larger community. Examining race and unpacking concepts of individual and institutional racism is an ongoing goal for our school. Our work for this year is outlined below.
This past summer, our faculty and staff read Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School. Throughout the school year, Vincent and Emily Figley, Second Grade teacher, will facilitate our discussions of the book’s essays and how as educators, we need to discuss the relevance of race in school with our students, families, and each other and its implications for our lives each day. We will explore such questions as: How do we build curriculum that is more comprehensive and inclusive in content and perspective? How do we work with students to explore questions about race that come up for them and do so in way that is authentic, brave, and age appropriate?
Over the summer, Board Member and Board Level Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair, Andrew Yee and we attended and deeply engaged in a training workshop facilitated by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training that had us examining institutional and systemic racism. This fall, TCS Board President, Kathy Casso, and Emily will attend and engage in that same two and half-day Crossroads training workshop. Also, we have partnered with the YWCA of Metro St. Louis and have formed two Witnessing Whiteness groups, to facilitate the exploration of race from the perspective and life experience of being white. There is one group for our faculty and staff and another for our families. These Witnessing Whiteness groups will meet ten times from August through December. If you are interested in joining a Witnessing Whiteness group in the broader community, please directly contact the YWCA or if you have an interest in joining our TCS group for families, please contact Vincent. Finally, on September 10, The College School will host We Stories! as they launch the next cohort of their Family Learning Program. To learn more about We Stories! Family Learning Program or to register for their September cohort launch, click here.
Now more than ever, we recommit ourselves to this important work of understanding and dismantling racism. We ask that you join us in these efforts. We invite you to learn more about The College School’s racial equity and inclusion initiatives, and consider some of the resources below. For information about our long-range equity and inclusion work or just to share your thoughts and ask questions, please contact Vincent or Ed.
-Ed Maggart, Head of School and Vincent Flewellen, Director of Equity and Inclusion
List of Resources Complied by Adelaide Eveleigh Lancaster (Co-Founder and Director of Community and Collaboration, We Stories!)
BEGINNING AN EXPLORATION OF WHITENESS
Waking Up White by Debbie Irving (book)
White Like Me by Tim Wise (book)
White Like Me by Tim Wise (video)
Peggy McIntosh’s “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (article)
“Eula Biss” on On Being (podcast episode)
BEGINNING A CONVERSATION WITH KIDS ABOUT RACE
Why Do It:
“Teaching Tolerance” from Slate
Books to Start With:
Shades of People by Shelley Rotner
All the Colors We Are by Katie Kissinger
The Skin You Live In by Michael J. Tyler
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue
VISIT EyeSeeMe Bookstore
The Longest Shortest Time: “How Not to Raise a Racist” (podcast episode)
This American Life: “Birds & Bees” (podcast episode)
Talk about Ruby Bridges with your children & watch real footage
Learn about the Children’s March together (documentary clips)
SOME IMPORTANT HISTORY YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Black Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution (PBS film)
EXPLORATION OF ST. LOUIS HISTORY
St. Louis in Black and White on St. Louis Public Radio
Short 15 minute segments about local history from sundown towns to Pruitt-Igoe to Percy Green and the Arch. They were produced pre-Ferguson.
We Live Here Podcasts
Videos & Documentaries:
#1 in Civil Rights @ Missouri History Museum
STL REGIONAL RESEARCH AND LEADERSHIP
For the Sake of All Report, Dr. Jason Purnell
Ferguson Commission Report, Ferguson Commissioners
Profiles of #stlchange on Forward Through Ferguson’s Facebook page
john a powell