California Educator

June/July 2020

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Page 8 of 63

MARILYN MARTINEZ I am a teacher protesting at Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles [above]. MARISA PIERUCCI I'm having open discussions with my friends of all cultures and colors. I have a bunch of books on order to educate myself and help teach my own children. TAUNYA JACO As a Black teacher, THANK YOU . It means the world to be seen and supported. ARPI CAL Using cultural relevant material to celebrate the contributions of all cultures represented in my class and helping students become self- aware of their role in ending racism... I remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." K ATIE ELIZABETH As teachers we all know what it's like to have a few abhorrent people make an entire group of public servants look bad. Violence is not the answer and serves to continue the divide and racial inequality by tearing down the "This is not a time for us to look away, but to confront for the sake of a fair, just and equitable future for all students." —CTA President E. Toby Boyd For guidance, tools and resources, go to Continued on page 8 WHAT EDUCATION LEADERS AND PARTNERS ARE SAYING NEA President Lily Eskelsen García NEA understands the deep racial history and trauma caused by the culture of white supremacy, and we believe that to achieve racial and social justice, we must acknowledge it as the primary root cause of institu- tional racism, structural racism and white privilege. It is a privilege that manifests as white people weaponizing the police against black men and women going about their daily lives. During this pandemic, we have also seen police treating black and brown people differently than white people. The overarching sentiment about these cases for so many people... is that the lives and the dignity of black people in the United States do not carry the same value or importance as others. As a union of 3 million educators, we have an obliga- tion to act. Together we will continue the call for justice and to hold powerful people to account. We must also examine how white supremacy culture impacts our biases, our practices and the policies in our own schools and communities. Black Lives Matter… because All Lives have not Mat- tered. We must do better. (Full text at Student CTA Student CTA stands in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement in schools and our communities. Across multiple platforms, we have seen the response for "All Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter," which we do not condone or accept. These statements/countermovements are a form of gaslighting that minimizes the oppression that Black individuals face in the United States every day. It Continued on page 8 community. Our message should be one of peace and justice. SUSAN CHEN I purposefully choose books that have Black and Hispanic characters. I point out the lack of diversity in magazines I read to my students and family and have emailed publishers about this. I have made mistakes in the past and have many more to come, but I'm trying to learn from them and continue fighting for human rights. SUSAN STR AT TON We as educators can do much to shift perceptions in our society but it will take a committed and well thought 7 J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 2 0

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