ANTI-RACISM AND CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE CURRICULUM AS A SCHOOL PRIORITY
WHEREAS, we are in a historical moment in which the U.S. and the world have been forced to confront the legacy of systemic and institutional racism; and
WHEREAS, now is the time to lead as educators toward what education will look like in the future: an education that promotes collective liberation from racism and prejudice that disproportionately impact communities of color, an education system that promotes racial, economic, social and environmental justice; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of ethnic studies and culturally sustaining curricula is of critical importance to supporting the learning needs of all students, but particularly students of color; and
WHEREAS, punitive discipline practices and the over-policing of Black and brown students in schools leads to the criminalization of students and is damaging to their health and well-being:
RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will provide resources for and will lead an ongoing campaign to help members lobby all school-based committees, whether elected or appointed, in public schools to prioritize anti-racist and culturally responsive curriculum, instruction, and professional development in schools with all school stakeholders by taking any, and hopefully, all of the following actions; and
- Fully funding high-quality anti-racist professional development training available from the district and/or from outside organizations, for school stakeholders about restorative justice, four levels of racism, microaggressions, and culturally responsive curriculum.
- Advancing proposals for and implementation of culturally responsive curriculum.
- Launching student-led and designed surveys where students can share their experiences with racism in schools, needs and desires for curriculum, diversity among staff, relations and interactions with other students and staff, etc.
- Launching surveys led and designed by teachers and staff where they can share their experiences with racism in schools and their related needs and desires.
- Advancing proposals for and implementation of restorative justice practices.
- Supporting efforts to train staff to provide counseling services, restorative justice programs, trauma-informed instruction, and supports for students in temporary living situations.
- Expanding grow-your-own initiatives to expand the rates of licensed teachers of color in our public schools.
- Increasing access for diverse community members, especially parents to find employment in schools.
- Regularly gathering qualitative and quantitative data from all school stakeholders on how to effectively promote racial, social and economic justice, culturally responsive curriculum and restorative practices in our classrooms, schools and communities.
- Conducting asset mapping of school communities in order to identify additional resources to connect student needs, identities, and cultures to curriculum and school activities; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT will provide anti-racist and culturally sustaining professional development and support members in developing, implementing and sharing anti-racist and culturally sustaining curriculum (including using the Share My Lesson platform) with members and all school stakeholders; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT will elevate these demands and proposals among its locals.