The Education Committee of the Alaska Black Caucus continues to work towards the goal of educating the community of Anchorage on topics important to the wellbeing of students, championing educational equity in the Anchorage School District. We have extended our outreach by becoming involved in Community Conversations, occurring every Sunday.
Community Conversations on Education
On August 29th, we had an enlightening discussion on Critical Race Theory, where several panelists engaged the audience in answering insightful questions and creating a sense of common understanding.
The Education Committee is proud to host another Community Conversation on October 3rd, where we will strive to have the voices of parents, students, and members of the community alike to amplify the need for addressing incidents of racism in the Anchorage School District. Anyone is welcome to this event, and we look forward to seeing you all!
Two upcoming events the Education Committee will have a presence at is the Bettye Davis Youth Summit on Friday, October 22 and the Bettye Davis African American African American Covid19 Summit on Saturday, October 23rd. Both events will be held at the Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School. Keep an eye out for more information from the Alaska Black Caucus on these events as we move into October!
We continue to fight for the extended implementation of the Anti-Racism and Instructional Equity Policies through testifying at the Anchorage School Board meetings, Municipality of Anchorage Assembly meetings, and other events.
In the month of September, the Education Committee had the chance to meet with Superintendent Deena Bishop and Sonya Hunte (Office of Equity and Compliance) to give feedback on ways the administration can advocate for underserved students.
As incidents of racism continue to occur in the Anchorage School District, the Education Committee is dedicated to ensuring that parents are the first point of contact and swift action is taken to rectify the situation. We will continue to bring a wide diversity of perspectives to our work in furthering children’s’ ability to have a safe and happy learning environment.
Other areas of testimony interest include the recruitment and retainment of teachers of color, ensuring children are taught accurate history, along with COVID-19 vaccinations for all eligible schoolchildren and faculty.
The Education Committee is also subdivided into the BIPOC Parent Voices Committee and the Research and Planning Committee.
At the most recent Research and Planning Committee meeting, members had the chance to discuss racial equity initiatives in the Anchorage community with Emanuel Portillo of the Anchorage Youth Development Coalition (AYDC). As we strive to support and nurture the young members of our society, the Committee is dedicated to conducting joint outreach with other organizations in the Anchorage area. If you are a member of a group that is looking to grow your roots in advocating for educational equity, do not hesitate to reach out to the Alaska Black Caucus Education Committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BIPOC Parent Voices Committee works towards a goal of sharing the lived experiences of students and families of color in the Anchorage School District, ensuring they are given the resources to testify and advocate. This subcommittee has had the opportunity this month to talk directly with parents whose children have been a victim of racism in multiple ASD schools, creating safe spaces for discussion.
As we work towards ensuring that every child is safe in an educational setting, it is necessary to identify gaps and negative interactions with the administration so that a stimulating learning environment is established. With the Anti-Racism and Instructional Equity Policies unanimously accepted in April of this year, it is the goal of this subcommittee to stay vigilant in implementing these procedures and create a protocol for addressing microaggressions and trauma in the Anchorage School District.