Monday Musings: Don’t be silent!

I honestly can say that I don’t know if I got this ‘right.’ When you are in leadership, every day could be a day you could get it wrong, but you have to press forward and try. This morning, I sent this email to the entire middle school staff. I only supervise half of the staff, but I work with everyone. It didn’t feel right to only include the people I supervise.

I truly believe educators must be anti-racist.

Good morning,

Many of you know that I’m the editor-in-chief of the education publication Indy K12. This publication publishes the words of Black education advocates in Indianapolis. As editor-in-chief, I knew I had a responsibility to make a statement about last week’s events of racism toward’s Christian Cooper and the murder of George Floyd. When it came to drafting communication at work, I struggled to find the right words to say. Many of you have told me how professional I am. I kept wondering how I could professionally respond to these events. How do I share my thoughts and not be offensive? 

I wanted to have these thoughts together on Friday and send them before summer break started, but I also had a 105-degree fever on Friday and fever during most of the weekend. Physically, I am feeling better, but emotionally I am distraught. I am a Black woman who is the daughter of Black parents, wife of a Black man, and mother of two Black sons. 

This email is not an attempt to make anyone feel sorry for me or for Black people.  It is not an attempt to make anyone feel guilty. As educators, we have an obligation to be part of the solution and be anti-racist. 

Last, I want to say thank you to those of you who thought enough of me in the short time I have known you to check on me and see if I was okay. I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude.

There are two articles online that gives a perspective on how Black employees might be feeling right now. If you are interested in reading them, reply back to me, and I’ll share them with you. 

I’m proud to work at Enlace with you all and look forward to working with you next year. If you are not returning, I wish you well in your future endeavors; I’m still only a phone call away.

Shawnta

Here are the articles I sent.

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/05/9841376/black-trauma-george-floyd-dear-white-people

https://medium.com/@shenequagolding/maintaining-professionalism-in-the-age-of-black-death-is-a-lot-5eaec5e17585

One teacher requested a resource of reading material. I sent the link below with the following images.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/mobilebasic

Not saying anything because you are afraid you will get it wrong is not the answer. Speak up and educate yourself and help educate others. #BlackLivesMatter

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