Dear Shorewood Families and Community,
It is with our deepest sincerity that we extend our thoughts and hearts to the families and loved ones of those affected by police brutality and systemic racial violence against Black and Brown people in our country. For more than 500 years, people of color have carried the burden of being mistreated, hated and murdered simply because of the color of their skin.
The recent tragic deaths of Joel Acevedo, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd have brought to light again the ways many members of our local and national community are currently suffering. But we know that the work of dismantling white supremacy within ourselves, our children and our communities has to happen every day, not just when a brutal murder captures our collective attention and triggers our outrage. We are reminded again that our work requires urgency, action, and understanding each day to bring about the necessary transformation that will end the suffering caused by racial injustice.
As a school district, we take pride in the diversity that makes us unique and we believe it is our diversity that makes us strong. Earlier this school year, in collaboration with Dr. Monique Liston of Ubuntu Research and Evaluation, LLC, we engaged our community, teachers and administration in developing a 2020-2025 Strategic Framework for our school district that is grounded in equity. Three recommendations came from this work that will drive our Strategic Planning over the next five years:
- Shorewood Public Schools will have a social justice curriculum that promotes equity by addressing racism, sexism, adultism and other forms of systemic oppression.
- Shorewood Public Schools will create and utilize anti-racist pedogogy across the district.
- Shorewood Public Schools will address the culture of fear that has prevented classroom teachers, school administrators and district leaders from addressing issues of inequity and injustice.
See the full report from Ubuntu Research and Evaluation, LLC. Our District Leadership Team of administrators and teachers will begin developing our action plans based on these recommendations this summer.
As racial tension locally and around the country rings the alarm for action and solidarity, please look for opportunities to check on your friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Let us take time to learn from each other, listen to one another, unite as allies for racial justice, and make space for courageous discussions that draw us together.
We also ask that you talk to your children and the young people around you about race and racial injustice. Our ability to raise race-conscious and anti-racist children will go a long way in ending our cycle of racial terror that we continue to experience in this country. Here are some resources you can use to guide conversations with the young people in your life:
From a place of hope and our unwavering commitment to racial justice, we maintain a focus on equity as a top priority of our district. We condemn any acts of racial violence or abuse and we recognize that neutrality or passivity can not be a stance we allow ourselves to take. We acknowledge and are committed to the work that remains to be done that will result in our community and our country being a place where every member can live, learn, and thrive.
Paru Shah, School Board President
Bryan Davis, Superintendent
Sam Coleman, Director for Equity