An Important Letter from Our METCO Director, Good News and SEPAC Meeting
June 2, 2020
Tonight, I start with good news.
This past week, two students were highlighted in the Concord Journal for their help to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Concord Journal Link
The CCHS administrators received recognition in a Boston Globe article about creative ways to celebrate the Class of 2020. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/05/29/metro/with-drive-throughs-yard-signs-photo-ops-seniors-forge-ahead-with-nontraditional-graduations/
CCHS theater students who spring musical was cancelled recreated the “9 to 5” theme for us to enjoy virtually. Such talent! Watch it here: https://youtu.be/to3Xh-BLalc
SEPAC will hold its last meeting of the year tomorrow night at 7 pm. The Zoom information is here.
Meeting ID: 830 9441 2835
Finally, I share the poignant words of METCO Director Andrew Nyamekye and his reflections about this race in this country. I ask that everyone take the time to read, reflect, and reach out if you need to.
Dear Parents and Guardians:
As I laid here this morning watching the sunrise, I was reminded that “darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.” Over the last week and still today, I find myself in deep sadness and in thought trying to process what we all have witnessed in the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and now George Floyd. These stories are all too familiar to us, and it sickens me to my core. This modern-day lynching, by way of officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on the neck of George Floyd I know, infuriates us all. The impact of the murder of George Floyd and that of every senseless killing of unarmed Black men and women by the hands of some racist White police officers will have long-reaching ramifications and the sad reality is, it probably won’t be the last.
I feel that we have been bringing attention to BLACK LIVES MATTER for 400 years. I feel that African Americans cannot continue to be the only ones teaching America about racism and how it systemically infects every foundation of our institutions. I was not born in this country, nor was I born in the sixties but with the historical knowledge that I have gained through my education, what has occurred with the murder of George Floyd, as Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom of Atlanta says, “it feels like America before 1965.” While I know we stand firm in solidarity with George Floyd and his family and are joining forces with those who are standing up for this injustice, we must now more than ever recognize the impact on our youth, particularly, on our Black and Brown boys and girls who are experiencing these events, and the devaluation of the black body. As an educator, the well-being of our Black and Brown students at this pivotal moment in time is at the forefront of my thoughts and feelings. The anxiety around the health pandemic, the interruption of school, and the anxiety our Black and Brown boys and girls are feeling now and how to soothe and cope, will be critical to their well-being; mentally and emotionally, in the days, months and years to come.
As we engage with our children, families, friends, and colleagues, our conversations need to be open and honest conversations. Despite how deep racism runs to the core of this country, and as much as it is painful to open up the wounds of the past, we have to educate ourselves, and our youth, and those who do not know about the past about the long term impact of slavery, remembering the story of Emmitt Till, the Civil Rights Movement, Jim Crow Era, MLK, and Malcolm X, just to list a few, and yes, even the silver linings such as the Harlem Renaissance where the social and artistic explosion of African American culture manifested in literature, music, stage performance, and art, and the powerful story of Greenwood “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa Oklahoma, where the largest African American townships were located after the civil war, and black-owned businesses and establishments amassed economic power in the 20th century.
While I feel there’s no grand gesture that can mend the list of injustices inflicted on African Americans in this country and around the world, It is my hope that through all of this, we recognize and celebrate our differences and point to the fact that WE CAN come together to bring about justice and effective policy changes in this country- we cannot afford to lose faith and hope. This work, this rebellion needs to be a collective responsibility on everyone and especially, on our White allies and accomplices who are 1) understanding how much of a “punch in the gut” it is for African Americans and communities of color to be marginalized, criticized, and treated unfairly, and 2) are not becoming defensive or take it as a personal attack when the notion of white supremacy and its institutionalization is mentioned. I empower you to continue to speak up and against racism, injustice, lack of equity, and every “ism” in-between when it happens, and hold individuals accountable.
I offer you, your family, your son, or daughter my support. In navigating the current events we are witnessing in this country, please, I ask you do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to talk.