A Message to Our Intergenerational School Community: 6/3/2021
Intergenerational Schools community,
The events in Cleveland over the last four days, sparked by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, bring up for many of us the senseless killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at the hands of police in our own city. We are reminded that there are countless others, and that people of color live a different experience on a daily basis when they show up to the world. Although there have been repeated attempts, in every conceivable way, to shine a light on these injustices, they remain engrained in our systems and structures. We want our families to know that we stand with you and we are committed to this work. For each of us right now, that means focusing on what we do have some control over at this moment to guide us to the next right thing.
We commit to authentic connection in our relationships with our students and families in order to learn, grieve, heal, and take positive actions together. We will reach out, check in, and listen to each of you as an individual with your own thoughts, feelings, experiences. We will work to create the spaces in our classrooms (even virtually) for students to express how all of this is impacting them and their families.
We commit to our own self reflections and learning as an organization and a staff of mostly white women. We will practice radical listening with those we serve to educate ourselves and to use our voices on behalf of our young people and what they deserve.
As a team of learners, our summer work for leaders includes -- reading and learning more about more ways to be culturally responsive in our leading and teaching, reviewing and ensuring anti-racist educational policies and curriculum, reflecting on our intent and our practice around how we build classroom community. We are asking ourselves if our work is explicitly anti-racist, and we know we must continue and deepen our equity training for all staff and Board members that began last year but was interrupted by the pandemic.
Intergenerational Schools Community,
The Intergenerational Schools exist to serve the ‘whole child.’ We know that educational needs won’t be met until all children feel safe, secure, and loved. This must start with us. We want to be sure each classroom (in whatever form it takes), our hallways, our events, our conversations and curriculum help ensure that safety, security and love that every one of our children deserve.
Brooke King, Executive Director