ACSA partners join equity town hall

June 29, 2020
Incoming ACSA President Ron Williams and other ACSA partners joined ACSA’s second Systemic Racial Intolerance and Injustice Town Hall on June 15 to continue the discussion on systemic racism in public education. Senior Director of Equity and Diversity Adonai Mack, who moderated the panel, talked with Williams, Daryl Camp of the California Association of African American Superintendents, Ivan Chaidez of California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators, and Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez of the California School Boards Association about the organizations’ work to combat racism and implement equity work in schools. Camp, who is also the superintendent of San Lorenzo Unified School District, said the educational system systematically “kills the spirit” of African American youth. “I want to create a system that nurtures and values the spirits of all our students, and particularly our African American students,” Camp said. Chaidez agreed that the educational system is currently broken. “This is an opportunity to take a deep look at our practices, and what we post and what we say on social media,” he said. “My son … was very disturbed by a tweet that one of his administrators posted on social media. A 14-year-old is already seeing all of this chaos and racism and prejudice, and he’s asking questions.” Cruz-Gonzalez said current events reminded her of the LA riots in 1992. “Now we’re dealing with, again, the same issue, several decades later,” she said. “I wonder, in terms of schools — what are we going to do to change what we’re doing?” Cruz-Gonzalez also said CSBA is having a conversation about providing training to school boards that incorporates equity in all sessions, rather than just an equity-focused training.  Camp questioned which people would follow through and support Black Lives Matter and other conversations about equity “when the cameras go away.” “For educators — what are you going to do to immerse yourselves in the learning?” he said. “One of the biggest actions you can take is, when you wake up in the morning, have African American kids on your mind.” As incoming president, Williams said he plans for ACSA to continue to be a leader in equity work. “We’re looking at not only doing the work, but what’s going to be the results of it?” Williams said. 

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