It is certainly recognized that students of all ages and background, all across America, can struggle with their identity. This group’s primary focus is to bring race and racial identity to the forefront, to work with everyone – from students to teachers to administration – to enhance our school community by making everyone feel welcomed and valued.
A phrase that arose multiple times at the meeting is “micro-aggression,” a concept first coined by Harvard University professor and psychologist Chester Pierce, to describe insults and dismissals non-black Americans infected on African Americans. According to psychologist Derald Wing Sue, micro-aggression includes statements and actions in everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages. One hope of mine for this group is to enhance everyone’s understanding and recognition of micro-aggressions.
I recently obtained a copy of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum. This book, recommended by Steven Tatum, is focused on racial identities and the challenge of holding discussions about race. I look forward to the thoughtful read.
I especially look forward to continued work with this group and all the educators, students, and families.