Ever-recent and pervasive, we experience mass shootings taking place while people are living their lives, engaging in everyday activities—celebrating the Lunar New Year (Monterey Park), going to the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon (Buffalo, New York), attending Sunday church service (Laguna Woods, California), and learning and teaching in school (Uvalde, Texas). Additionally, tragedies like the state-sanctioned killing of Tyre Nichols keep the Black community in a constant state of mourning. Each one of these instances adds to the collective trauma we all experience as a society when faced either directly or indirectly with this type of mass violence. We know that these events are devastating for the families, loved ones, and the communities in which they happen. Across our Great Lakes Equity Center projects, and particularly in our Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Centers, we commit to the contribution of safe and inclusive schools through deep partnerships with education agencies and communities. We urge action in whatever way you can contribute: through policy, testimony, love, learning, and holding accountable our legislators, colleagues, friends, neighbors, and ourselves to end this violence by building just, equitable, inclusive, and safe spaces where our communities and youth thrive.
Great Lakes Equity Center/Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center
In this issue of Equity Express, we emphasize the importance of tending to your whole self on your own terms, of and within [minoritized] communities, amid furthering equity-centered work.
This Equity Tool is a rubric, enabling users to determine the extent to which developed standards reflect an equity-focused approach to Social Emotional Learning. Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Framework for Systemic Social Emotional Learning, this Tool reframes each competency toward more equitable educational experiences for students who are members of historically marginalized groups by guiding users to consider the degree to which each competency implicates the role of the school in determining social norms, the politics and power imbalances embedded in emotional interactions, and the degree to which the standard promotes student agency.
In this inaugural issue of Equity Express, we highlight and provide resources which attend to the importance of strengthening and protecting oneself, while in the midst of equity work.
With racism and xenophobia all heightened in our present politically polarized times, students often feel unsafe and vulnerable. Those sensibilities, however understandable, nonetheless can interfere with an individual student's learning, and larger classroom and school dynamics. This vodcast consists of four seasoned secondary educators, who will offer their perspectives and strategies for helping students feel welcome, safe, and able to learn.
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