The Burnaby Teachers’ Association published a letter that lists video commentaries about the events in the U.S. following George Floyd’s murder and books dealing with racism. I’ll add many if not all of these to the collection of resources that I’ve started and profiled on Esquimalt High’s library learning commons website. The letter explains that:
Some of us have years of experience organizing in our communities, and others are new to engaging in this way. For some, anti-Blackness and police violence are deeply personal, painful lived experiences. For others, antiracism and allyship are ongoing processes of learning, unlearning and working toward a practice of humbled solidarity.
Despite these differences, we’re all feeling combinations of grief and anger, of powerlessness and resolve. And under it all, a deep, deep sadness.
Maybe you are feeling this too.
Because we believe in the value of social justice education, we want to offer practical answers. We want to give students an explanation of why things are the way they are. We want to chart a path forward for them, for you and for us.
Yet, as we witness and share in the collective mourning for lost Black lives and the demands for justice for victims like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade, we must admit that we don’t have the answers.
If you are Black, what do you need to feel safe and valued in your learning right now?
If you are not Black what do you need to better understand how to provide support and stand against injustice?
What do you want you to know about justice to take action?
What are your fears in this moment?
What gives you hope?
Despite the difficulties of connecting with and communicating with students and staff at the moment I hope we can raise these questions and continue to nurture real dialogue at ESQ on these issues.