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We are a group of educators planning a Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Madison as part of the National BLM Week of Action from February 4 – 8. This is the third year that a growing number of schools and communities around the country have held a BLM week in schools. Our intention for the week is to bring together community members, teachers, parents, students, and union members to put forth a vision for a school system and community that truly values Black lives.
The Black Lives Matter movement recognizes the impact of mass incarceration, poverty, non-affordable housing, income disparity, homophobia, unfair immigration laws and policies, gender inequality, and poor access to healthcare. All of these injustices exist in the intersection of race, class and gender. And they have always existed and continue to exist within our Madison community, including within our own school system.
This is why our Black Lives Matter week is a vital action. It is one that will empower each of us and our students to know that it is possible to eradicate these ills by actively engaging in the truth and never being afraid to share it, even when it is unpopular. If society continues to marginalize, murder, and devalue Black and Brown lives, then there is little hope for America to ever reach her fullest potential.
We call all of our colleagues, administrators, students, families and community members to partner with us as we engage in the National Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action Feb 4-8, 2019. We commit to analyzing and challenging both our personal and systemic or institutional racialized beliefs and practices. This work is urgent and long overdue. This week is one action embedded in the lifelong work of creating a society and school system where all of our students, staff, and families experience respect, equity, and justice.