Watch our LEVinar with Superintendents from Across Washington state on Racial Equity and Going Back to School

As plans for the 2020-21 school year are being finalized, school districts across Washington state are focusing on racial equity while developing updated learning plans, and students, parents, and educators are trying to navigate new systems and expectations.

In this webinar, Highline Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Kent School District Superintendent Dr. Calvin Watts, Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid, Bellingham Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Baker, Kennewick School District Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce, and Davenport School District Superintendent Jim Kowalkowski share how racial equity is being addressed during this historic time, describe what school will look like in their districts for the start of the 2020-21 school year, outline what kinds of support school districts in Washington need from the state as the school year gets underway, and answer questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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Watch our LEVinar with WA state Teachers of the Year on What Students Need for Going Back to School

These are unprecedented times in Washington state. School districts are finalizing plans for reopening schools, and many have chosen online and hybrid learning models. But how have the COVID-19 school closures impacted students, and how can we best support them in the fall?

In this webinar, Washington state Teachers of the Year Amy Campbell (2020), Robert Hand (2019), Mandy Manning (2018, and the 2018 National Teacher of the Year), Camille Jones (2017), and Nate Bowling (2016) share what they are hearing from students, parents, and colleagues in their community, share what students need to begin the 2020-21 school year, and answer your questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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Podcast – Fernell Miller of The Root of Us on What Students Need Now

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this latest episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks Fernell Miller, Founder and CEO of The Root of Us and a physical education teacher in the public school system, what she is hearing from students during this historic time, what it was like for her to navigate school as a Black student, and what she would like to see schools prioritize as the 2020-21 school year begins.

 

  • Take The Root of Us survey here.
  • Watch the student “I Can Return to School When…” video here.
  • Read our recap of the July 21, 2020 Virtual Rally for Students and Families.

Listen:

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Watch our LEVinar on Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing

Historically, the race conversation and topic are treacherous waters to navigate and the ‘colorblind’ approach has robbed us of the framework, language, and power to effectively address and dismantle it.

In this webinar, TED speaker and Brownicity.com creator Dr. Lucretia Berry, author of What LIES Between Us: Fostering First Steps Towards Racial Healing, describes how parents and teachers can talk to their children and students about race and race-related trauma. She also answers your questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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Community Members Discuss Equity in an Online Rally for Educational Justice

By Andre Lawes Menchavez, Engagement Intern

 

Student speaker Amanda Chamba of the Bellevue College Black Student Union

As the national movement continues for Black lives, it proceeds to expose various facets of society that are impacted by the lack of equity for marginalized communities.

One area, in particular, is education.

The intersection of equity and education has become more evident in the recent climate of our world.

Black folx dying at the hands of the police intersect with the conversation on school resource officers (SRO’s) and the need to uphold restorative justice programs for discipline in schools. Pipelines to prison for BIPOC intersect with the conversations on diversifying the workforce in schools for more visibility of BIPOC teachers, counselors, and mentors for students. As COVID-19 ravages throughout the country and eliminates access, it intersects with the conversations on alleviating these same issues for students who are low-income and/or live with special needs.

Back to School: An Equity Centered Conversation with Parents, Providers, Teachers, Educators, and Students was a virtual event aimed to tackle these equity issues in education. Community members came together to discuss why and how we should use racial equity and social justice lenses to reimagine how schools can support every learner. Read More

Watch our LEVinar on Why Students Need to Go Outdoors

Overwhelming research shows health and emotional benefits to recess, exercise, and free outdoor play.

In this webinar, Dr. Pooja Tandon of Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington, Bookie Gates, Servant Leader, Baseball Beyond Borders/Gates Ventures Group, Seattle Public Schools parent Linnea Westerlind, author of Discovering Seattle Parks: A Local’s Guide, and KUOW Education Reporter Ann Dornfeld discuss the mental health benefits of recess and PE programs in schools, outline what we need now to support school districts in Washington state to incorporate exercise programs into curriculum during this period of distance or hybrid learning, and answer your questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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Podcast – Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist

In our podcast, we interview policymakers, partners, and thought leaders to spotlight education policies, research, and practices so that together we can create a brighter future for every Washington student.

In this episode, League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman asks Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, contributing writer at The Atlantic, and CBS News correspondent, how we can be anti-racist ourselves, how, in Dr. Kendi’s words, he evolved from internalizing racist thoughts to being an anti-racist, and what we can do to create a more equitable, anti-racist society.

 

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Watch our LEVinar on Raising Antiracist White Kids – Steps on Parenting for Racial Justice

Real challenges exist when it comes to raising white children in a society that is full of racial injustice. Talking about race means naming white privilege and hierarchy. How do we do this honestly, without making children feel bad about being white?

In this webinar, award-winning educator and public speaker Dr. Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, talks about how to teach white children to notice race and how to address racism when they encounter it. She also answers your questions.

Moderated by League of Education Voters Communications Director Arik Korman.

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Ways to Take Action to Support the Black Community

By Lauri Hennessey, League of Education Voters CEO

 

Students at South Shore PreK-8 in Seattle

Today, our offices are closed in solidarity with the Statewide Silent March and General Strike led by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. Our closure today will provide a dedicated opportunity for everyone at League of Education Voters (LEV) to focus on the inward and outward work of dismantling racism, ending police brutality, and supporting Black lives. Everyone will engage in different ways, whether that is through reading books, watching documentaries, or participating in the statewide protest. For some, it may just mean thinking deeply or talking to friends and family. For others, it may be taking time for quiet reflection. No matter what, today is only part of a longer and deeper journey, as we dedicate ourselves to learning from our collective racist history and taking action.

One way you can take action is to help organizations making a profound difference in the Black community. Here are just a few: Read More

We Stand in Solidarity with the Black Community

The staff and board of League of Education Voters grieve the lives lost in the Black community. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade. David McAtee. And too many others in our country’s recent and distant past. We stand in solidarity with our students, families, teachers, friends and neighbors against the continued injustices they face. We hear and echo the call for justice. We will not be silent, as it carries a brutality of its own.

League of Education Voters believes that education is a tool for justice. The project of dismantling the systems that perpetrate the violence and oppression experienced by communities of color begins in schools. We believe every child deserves an excellent public education that provides an equal opportunity for success. In order to achieve this, we must pursue radical change in our school systems for equity, justice, and liberation. We must build schools and systems that honor the humanity in every student.

To create the permanent change our students deserve, we at LEV know that we have much to learn and work to do as an organization and as individuals. We commit to:

Starting with the self — We will work to uncover and dismantle the racism within ourselves and the racist structures and practices within our own organization.

Listening and amplifying — The voices of the Black community and people of color are the center of this movement, and we must listen, learn and amplify their messages in our own circles.

Supporting — We will actively seek opportunities to support the work of organizations led by and serving communities of color, contributing our capacity and resources to support their work in dismantling unjust systems.

Being Accountable — We also call upon our networks to hold us accountable. We know we will take missteps and are grounded in our dedication to doing better for the students of Washington.

The urgency of this work requires us to seek solutions that challenge the status quo. We must ensure that no more names are added to the list of lives claimed by police brutality and systemic racism. And we must fight for a world in which true educational and economic equity exists.

 

The Board and Staff of League of Education Voters