Today we had an all day professional development that was personally enlightening to me. My state apparently has the largest achievement gap between white students and students of color. My district started a task force last year to help close the achievement gap in our district.
So this morning we had an all staff speaker from a local group that is trying to bring focus to the racism issues in our communities. She talked about how racism begins when groups of people do not feel like they belong in the community.
In the afternoon we worked with our buildings to dive deeper into the subject. We did this white privilege exercise where we read statements on cards about white privilege. This is was an eye opener for me. I will admit I had trouble understanding the Black Lives Matter movement. I was not seeing it correctly. Now I get it. Black lives matter because they deserve to feel as if they belong in the community just as I feel like I belong in the community.
Some of the statements on the cards were eye opening. I can go to the store and buy band aids that are my skin color. Growing up I never had a trouble finding a doll that looked like me. Remember My Child dolls. You were suppose to get the one that looked like you. It took a bit of searching but I could find a green eye, blonde, white baby. My sister was able to get a brown haired blue eyed white baby with no trouble. If i get pulled over in my car I is because I was speeding or failed to stop. Sometimes I don’t even get a ticket or it is reduced to a seat belt violation.
I am white. I cannot change that. What I can change is how I address differences in race in my life, in my classroom, and at home for my son. That change starts with me.