Mariemont City Schools Families,
We hope that you are staying healthy and safe. Some of you may be planning time away or staying close to home this summer. While we all are thinking about summer plans we continue to see and hear about protests and marches happening locally and across the nation. In Superintendent Estepp’s recent ConnectME blog post
, and in many statements being made by other organizations and businesses, we are all being encouraged to come together in unity, to speak up and take a stand against racism and injustice.
Collectively, we, the four principals of the Mariemont City School District, reach out to you today do just that. We know there is a desire and a need for our children to have important discussions surrounding racism and injustice, and we wish we were together at this time to facilitate this dialogue in our classrooms.
What we are witnessing currently in our communities, cities, states and nation is what is being referred to as two pandemics, the COVID-19 pandemic and a pandemic of racism. As a result of this pandemic of racism, people are coming together to “collectively express their fatigue” according to Bryan Stevenson
(Founder & Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative). Fatigue of racism, injustice and oppression; fatigue from the fear of losing your life because of the color of your skin and anger from seeing these instances occur over and over again with seemingly no change. These expressions are being displayed in a variety of ways and hitting close to home.
Our district’s Global and Cultural Perspectives Committee believes that, in order for us to continue to grow and bring about positive change, we must individually and collectively increase our own knowledge and awareness through self-reflection, reading of articles, digging into resources, reaching out to cultural informants and creating open dialogue with others.
During a recent radio show titled, “Kojo For Kids,” Author and National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature, Jason Reynolds, talked about “Racism and The Protests
”. He conducted a question and answer session with young kids and adults. One 9-year-old girl asked him this question, “How can kids help bring change in this country so that we are all treated fairly and it doesn’t matter what color your skin is?” He responded by suggesting to her that she ask herself everyday even into adulthood, “What am I going to do today to make sure that today we are living in a world that feels more equitable, more peaceful and more fair?”
Right now, many of our students are asking this same question and many households within our school district and throughout our nation are asking the question and wondering how we can take action against racism and make changes that promote equity, peace and fairness. We, too, are asking this question and are committed to doing more.
You may be wondering how you should talk with your children or family about racism, injustice and about the protesting and various expressions that we are seeing and hearing about in the news, on the tv and on various social media platforms. With the help of our district’s Global and Cultural Perspectives Committee we have compiled some resources that we thought you might find helpful.
In addition to the below list of resources, you can view the district Global and Cultural Perspectives webpage
on the district website to read more about the Mariemont City School District’s stance on inequality and injustices, learn about the work of the Global and Cultural Perspectives Committee, view the all-staff professional development courses centered around cultural proficiency that the district has facilitated and create a dialogue with the district about these issues.
Collectively, we want to thank you, the Mariemont City Schools community, for standing with us to fight racial inequality and injustice. We know this work will never end, but we are happy to continue learning and growing to build an equitable, inclusive and responsive learning community.