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Words matter; what we say and how we say them carries weight.  We say we condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many more to count. When we condemn institutional violence that harms Black and brown people, are we saying everything we need to?  When we say that we stand with and support Black Lives Matter and will continue to be an ally and advocate – is that enough?

In January we began centering on “Intentional Integration” with DCSC members and partners. We are naming that using the term “diversity” has blurred the edges of systemic, underlying causes of devastating gaps in achievement, safety and health.  This current moment is causing us to sharpen our definition. Intentional Integration requires us to commit to anti-racism personally and in our roles as leaders of schools and networks. It demands that we examine how white supremacy underlies all parts of our society, including our education system.  It helps us reflect on how we talk about this moment with each other, our colleagues, and our children.

Using Deepa Iyer’s ecosystem map and its reflection guide is a way we can be more deliberate and intentional in naming our approach in this moment.  As the guide states: “many of us play different roles in pursuit of equity, shared liberation, inclusion, and justice.”

For us at DCSC, we will strive to more explicitly name and disrupt white supremacy.  DCSC will weave networks between members and partners that strengthen our collective power to transform unjust conditions and oppressive systems in schools. We aim to build out services that support Coalition members in educating generations of students with frameworks of justice and healing.

We offer resources and materials for educators, accomplices, and allies to move forward in solidarity.  We also know that what we say is just as important to how we listen and learn, especially from our Black colleagues, members and partners.

DCSC members can expect that we’ll continue to check in to ask how you are doing and what you may need from us.  This is a time to support each other as we all try, on a daily basis, to make our words matter.

Despite the fear, anxiety, and grief that surround us, we will continue to be there for each person, school, and community.

– Amy, Ashley, Dave, Seon and Sonia


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