What happens when students lead

COVID-19 Resources and Updates, Student Voices | 07/31/2020

Libuse Binder
Former Executive Director, Stand for Children Washington

As we anticipate primary election results next week, I’d like to offer an opportunity to step back with me as I reflect on the larger ‘why’ of the work we do.

This past Monday, I had the privilege of attending our student-led Q&A with state Superintendent Chris Reykdal. Unlike many meetings I’m often in, this one did not require me to talk. Instead, it asked that I listen. 

I listened as Alicia, a recent graduate from Renton, thoughtfully asked the superintendent about how he will support incorporating ethnic studies into our state’s curriculum. I heard Zyaira, from the Spokane class of 2020, ask him how he will make sure that police officers stop harming students in school buildings. I watched with awe as Havivah, who’s headed to Eastern Washington University this fall, pointedly asked how he would provide districts with guidance on directing funding to students who need it most.

Watch the Student-Led Q&A

It never fails to surprise me how much more grounded I feel in my ‘why’ of this work when I engage with students and their families. When we authentically partner with them and provide support as they lean into their greatness as leaders, I’m reminded that this work is not just about laws and elections and programs and budgets. This work is about ensuring that each and every student is given the opportunity to shine and to let their light change our world for the better.

As election results roll in, as districts make plans for an unprecedented back-to-school, and as we continue to recommit ourselves - every day - to supporting racial justice in our communities, I am stepping back to take stock of the radical change that is possible when students and families lead. Thank you for joining us on this journey and standing with us every step of the way.


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