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Back To School Checklist: Student Voice & Racial Equity Data–Webinar Recording & Resources

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Student Voice and Racial Equity Data are the name of the game this school year. As students and staff navigate the realities of online and distance learning, we know that centering student voice and the need to collect racial equity data are critical to success.  CFJ recently launched our Equity in Action services to support district and county education leaders as they navigate the unknown this year and beyond.

As part of the kickoff for our services, we hosted a virtual workshop last week, the Back To School Checklist: Student Voice & Racial Equity Data

We spent the afternoon with over 23 districts, counties and organizations arriving in our bodies, learning about ourselves and each other in order to listen deeply to the needs of our school community. We heard directly from student leaders from Oakland, San Jose, Fresno and Long Beach about their experience in the time of Covid-19 and distance learning. Students also delivered the Do’s and Don’ts of genuine student engagement. 

Quotes from Webinar Attendees:

  • “When we have had student engagement, we tend to bring in the same handful of students, so it seems like we’ve definitely limited ourselves in that [Don’ts of Student Voice] practice.” April Oquenda, HUSD Board Member
  • “Students are often more at ease talking about ‘the hard stuff’ than adults think they will be. With the right space and support, our students can lead hard conversations with adults.” Jill Baker, LBUSD Superintendent
  • “[What is a priority in this moment is] telling our students’ stories to impact change for our community; Acknowledging the racism built into all systems, especially schools.” Megan Lane, LBUSD Student

We talked honestly about the ways anti-Black racism, white supremacy culture and policing manifest in our schools and how we can flip the script to center the voices of students to pave a way forward together. A question we posed during the webinar that we wish to leave you with: 

Are our districts, schools and classrooms set up to center Black Liberation and racial justice? Are they places where every student, family and staff feels welcomed and valued? How do we make sure that every student, especially our Black students, can be themselves and succeed because every student has a caring adult in our schools?


Learn more about CFJ’s Equity in Action Services.Through our Equity in Action Services CFJ offers customized consultation and workshops, and opportunities to learn collaboratively in Professional Learning Networks. Find more information about our offerings here or reach out to Najla Gomez at najla@caljustice.org for a free 30 minute consultation.

Here are some next steps to continue centering racial equity and student voice in schools:

 

It’s important to talk about race, because many staff and teachers are blind to what they’re doing, and sometimes it affects the students in a way where they don’t feel like coming back to school or they belong there. It’s important to name it and stop it now. Sometimes there’s teachers who pick on certain students more than others without even knowing the damage they are doing to these students.” Jordan Parker, Junior at Lakewood High School in Long Beach.

 

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