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MVRCS PTO Statement of Solidarity

Dear MV Families,

            The MVRCS PTO has prepared the following statement to share with our community. We have taken some extra time and thought to express our sincere disillusionment with what has transpired beginning with George Floyd’s murder.

            As an independent non-profit charity, the PTO wants to let our school community know that we stand in support of our Black Community and whole-heartedly condemn racism, hate, and discrimination. 

            Although the pandemic is slowing us down and keeping us from gathering, we are listening to the concerns of our community. We are a group of seven volunteers that have worked very hard to enrich the lives of our students, appreciate our teachers, and create community as the PTO’s mission. And, we welcome any MVRCS parent who will volunteer their time and ideas. As a team of working parents like you, we need help. If you are willing to take an active role to help the PTO, please contact us by emailing Outreach

            The senseless killing of George Floyd, combined with the countless acts of violence against Black men and women in this country is gutting. We stand together with all who are looking for change. This will take more than trending social media posts, and marches in city streets. This needs the attention of all community members, leaders, and legislators everywhere. We must work together, prepare to get uncomfortable, and have the tough discussion surrounding race in this country. We need systemic change, but it won’t be possible without everyone agreeing to do their part.

            What does “doing our part” look like? We’ve gathered a few ideas from trusted resources which gave insight, but this is just a start. The information is summarized below and includes additional resources that will help us to achieve a better understanding.

Acknowledge: Acknowledge any harm that Black members of your community have endured. Commit to a lifelong learning about racism in order to understand racist events and aggressions your minority community members have likely faced.

Resources:

Listen: Seeing White Podcast – www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white

Watch: An Atlantic story on Black land dispossession: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldLiR794DsQ

Read: Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino.

AffirmAffirm the right to safety and personhood in order to help minorities feel protected. Offer continued opportunities for reaction, reflection, conversation, growth, impact and advancement.

Resources:

Listen: Still Processing – A NY Times culture podcast hosted by Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morrison.

Watch: 13th – a Netflix documentary exposing racial inequality within the criminal justice system.

Read: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

Act: Think critically about how you can affect change. Actions will last longer than words. Ask: What can you do in your community? What would promote equity and justice and activate meaningful change? How can you advocate for such change? 

            If you are in any way dissatisfied with the MVRCS school administration, we encourage you to express your concerns directly to school administration or the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

Resources:

Listen: Pod for the Cause – from the Leadership Conference on the Civil & Human Rights.

Watch: Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives – Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, and Charlene Carruthers.

Read: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

Organizations to Get Involved with:

Movement for Black Lives – https://m4bl.org

Black Lives Matter – https://blacklivesmatter.com/chapters/

Fight for Breonna – https://fightforbreonna.org

Resources for Kids and Teens:

PBS’s Teaching Your Child About Black History Month.

Follow the Conscious Kid on Instagram.

Virtual Event TONIGHT, June 4 – https://thebrownbookshelf.com/2020/06/02/kidlit-rally-for-black-lives/

Watch The Hate U Give – a film based on the novel offering an intimate portrait of race in America.

Watch Becoming – a Netflix documentary following Michelle Obama on her book tour.

Read Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester.

Read Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper. 

Read The Colors of Us by Karen Katz.

            Racism erodes society; hate erodes hearts. We all can do better, the PTO can do better, and our children deserve better. The hard work begins today. We are committed to taking a stand against racism with peace, compassion, and kindness. Join us.

The PTO Leadership Team

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