California Educator

December 2018 / January 2019

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Page 54 of 75

" I S I T E N O U G H TO J U S T T E AC H O U R S T U D E N T S T H E T R U T H A S W E K N O W I T, O R D O W E T E AC H T H E M H O W TO C H A L L E N G E T H E SYS T E M ? " — R AC H E L I M M E R M A N , N E A S T U D E N T C H A I R P E R S O N actively advocate for social, political and educational strategies that eradicate institutional racism and white privilege perpetuated by white supremacy culture." The symposium encouraged partici- pants to take risks as they explored what for many is difficult subject matter. "At t i m e s , y o u m i g h t f e e l u n c o m - fortable, but it's part of the experience we're embarking on together," reassured Stavanna Easley, Fresno City College student and Central Regional Vice Pres- ident of SCTA. Giving all kids equal opportunity S C TA's g o a l c a m e f r o m a 2 0 1 8 N E A R e pre s ent ativ e A ss emb ly re s o luti on that states in part that: " The National E du cation A ss o ci ation b eli e v e s th at … to achieve racial and social justice, educators must acknowledge the exis- t ence of W hit e supremacy culture as a primar y root cause of institutional racism , structural racism , and W hite privilege. Additionally, the association believes that the norms, standards, and organizational structures manifested in White supremacy culture perpetually exploit and oppress people of color and serve as detriments to racial justice." "Student CTA is going to be teaching future generations of students, so we need to be aware of these issues," said Jes- sica Chamness, a student from Santiago Canyon College. For aspiring preschool teacher Sarah Ashley Jones, a lot of this is a shock to her comfortable, suburban, white upbringing, but instead of shying away, she's thinking about how to make sure future students understand racism, inequity and privilege in America. She said the revised history many students are taught in elementary school guides them into a set of beliefs where they subconsciously learn how to feel about themselves, their communities and even the color of their skin. "I'm just starting to see that inequality starts so young. I want to see how I, as someone who has white privilege, can work against that and give all kids equal opportunity," said Jones, a student at San Diego State University. "I don't want to be ignorant of other people's experiences." Sy mp o sium p ar ti c ip ant s e xplored these experiences in small-group discus- sions on the history of white supremacy culture, systemic racism and inequality in the United States, how Americans are socialized to white supremacy culture, and how to build a future that rejects and dismantles a legacy of inequity. SCTA member Sarah Ashley Jones (center) wants to use her privilege to fight inequity . The program cover (opposite) was designed by SCTA Board Member Qohle Martinez. 53 D E C E M B E R 2 018 / J A N U A R Y 2 019

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