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Taking Action Against Racism: Resources for Allies and Educators

At Rocketship Public Schools, we stand with the black community and the fight for justice and against systemic racism. We call for an end to police brutality and for the end of the systemic dehumanization of black lives. As an organization grounded in social justice, we know that we must also focus on our own house and how we can dismantle these systems within. We will continue to advance our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work on multiple fronts so that we can continue to become a more inclusive and anti-racist organization and support school leaders and educators in catalyzing change in the classroom. To that end, we are sharing a collection of resources that we’ve curated for our educators and employees to learn about the issues, talk about those issues with students, and take action. These resources are just a beginning, but we hope they can help educators everywhere engage in this critical work.

“We may be uncomfortable talking about race, but we can no longer afford to be silent. We have chosen a profession that—like parenting—requires us to put our comforts second to those of children.” – Jamilah Pitts, Teaching Tolerance

To Our Educators and School Leaders

Teaching is a tool of activism. Our fight to create educational equity will never be won as long as racial violence and injustice persist. We must provide safe spaces to support each other through trauma and lean into uncomfortable conversations about white privilege and systemic racism. Racism is a reality for our students and we must help them understand its roots and realize their power to work against it. Click here to access the resources.

To Our Managers

The black community is hurting deeply. Check-in on your employees as they may be experiencing trauma, grief, and difficulty finding peace during these distressing times. Remind employees of the benefits they can take advantage of, and support them in taking the time to process and express their emotions–whatever they may be. This article from the New York Times gives some great advice for employers about addressing these issues head-on. We encourage HR departments everywhere to be proactive in these difficult times.

To Our Non-Black Employees, Rocketeers, and Supporters

Until white folks become accomplices for racial equity, more black lives will be lost. Become an ally. Learn about the issues, take action, and use your dollar to support local black businesses and causes. Click here to access the resources.

And to Our Black Rocketeers and Employees

We see you, we love you and we support you. Black lives matter. Black dreams matter. Black futures matter. We know how deeply exhausted and upset many of us are—whatever you need, please take it. The Rocketship Diversity Equity and Inclusion National Leadership Team is committed to advancing this work on multiple fronts so that we can continue to become an organization where all staff can bring their whole selves to work and in turn be a catalyst in the life of every student that walks through our physical, or virtual, doors. We are learning and growing and committed.

The Rocketship Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI)  National Leadership Team was founded in 2019 to lead DEI work across the network and has partnered with organizations such as Promise 54  and oneTILT. Our vision is to unleash the full potential of our incredible team and communities by purposefully pursuing representation in our communities and breaking down barriers to power. At Rocketship, we work to create a safe, collaborative environment that celebrates our differences and strengthens our community. Our pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion recognizes the systemic inequality of opportunity in our society, and we seek to address these disparities.

Published on June 4, 2020

Read more stories about: Education Reform, Uncategorized.