Over the past decade, Stand Oregon has worked hard to address the racial inequities that show up in our education system. But on the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd and after a year of nationwide protests for racial justice within all systems, I’m all too aware of how far we have to go. It was refreshing to see this Opinion piece in the New York Times this weekend call attention to the work we must continue to do:
The injustices of our public education system are so intertwined with its very foundation. If we are to address the stark racial inequities that permeate our society and affect the odds of success for students of color, we must examine the system at-large. In Oregon, the persistent achievement gaps are direct proof of the inequities within our Jim Crow education system.
To give our students the future they deserve, we have to stand up for our Black, brown, and Indigenous students. We have to do the digging ourselves. We have to look at data, follow the money, and most importantly, listen to the students, families, and educators of color in the system and believe their experiences. We must act now, because as the author notes, “schools are far more consequential than water fountains.”