California Educator

December/January 2022

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A C O M M U N I T Y - O R G A N I Z E D E F F O R T to undo the impacts of decades of systemic anti-Black racism in Oakland public schools led to the adoption of a resolution by the Oakland Uni- fied School District (OUSD) Board of Education earlier this year that will prioritize investment in Black communities. Th e R e p a rati on s f or B l a ck S tu d ent s Resolution directs OUSD to take all steps necessary to eliminate the Black student opportunity gap across district schools by 2026 and implement a series of initiatives to ensure Black students get what they need to feel safe, healthy and supported to succeed. "Reparations for Black Students is our model of community schools, targeted at Black students," says Kampala Taiz-Ran- ci fer, a m emb er of O akl and E du cation Association (OEA). "is is an educator-community partnership deliberately done through a racial justice lens." e movement grew out of a series of listening sessions led by the Justice for Oakland Students Coalition that revealed many community members felt invisible and unimportant to the school district, and exposed an "enormous amount of anti-Black racism." e issues that surfaced during these meetings became the foundation for a list of demands by a community group orga- nized by Taiz-Rancifer, OEA President Keith Brown, Oakland-based Black Organizing Project, and the Bay Area Parent Leader- ship Action Network. (See sidebar.) Raising the profile of educational issues important to the Black community, the group helped build a coalition of Black organizations to fight for policy change. e Reparations movement was a prior- ity for OEA, with a wide range of the local's 3,000 members taking active roles in elevat- ing the demands for the public education all Oakland students deserve. What resulted was a community-led and edu- cator-supported movement that took only eight months "Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) students have traditionally received very little support, which has created unequal results." —VanCedric Williams, OUSD Board of Education "This is an educator- community partnership deliberately done through a racial justice lens." —Kampala Taiz-Rancifer, Oakland Education Association Organizing for Equity in Oakland Schools Reparations for Black students address impacts of systemic anti-Black racism By Julian Peeples Justice For Oakland Students 43 D E C E M B E R 2 0 21 / J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2 Social Justice New Section

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