500 signatures reached
To: Radnor High School
Make Anti-Racism Education Mandatory at Radnor High School
LETTER SENT TO RHS ADMINISTRATORS AND RADNOR TOWNSHIP COMMISSIONERS:
My name is _________. I’m a 2014 RHS Alumna. I’m grateful for my time at Radnor High School and feel that my education was of extreme value. However, there is always room for improvement. This past year, and especially these past few weeks, I’ve learned far more about racism in America than I ever did in my four years at RHS. I’ve learned about microaggressions/macroaggressions, white fragility, the prison-industrial complex, the Southern strategy, systemic racism, colorism – just to name a few. It is not my intent to shame or target teachers and Administrators at RHS, but I feel that my education on racism was focused on the past and implied that we don’t have a racism problem anymore. From speaking with my former classmates, this is a sentiment that is shared among us. I think the role that teachers play in our society is vital and honorable. Teachers have the power to advocate for change and create students that go on to make the world a better place. It is time for RHS and the community at large to evolve. It is our responsibility as a 74% white high school to lead the way and set examples for other education systems in the U.S.
As a Master’s graduate, working on receiving certification as a mental health counselor, an RHS Alumna, and an immigrant, I believe that it is my duty to make sure that those after me leave even more informed, mentally stable, and optimistic about the future. As I mentioned before, I believe that the catalyst for change begins with education. I so wish that I had watched movies like “13th” or “The Nightingale” in high school. I wish that I had been taught how to actively be anti-racist. I wish I was taught about the actual realities of white colonialism instead of the sugarcoated or dampened versions. I wish that I was taught how to practice activism in my community.
I’m writing this letter urging RHS to make anti-racist literature, media, and education mandatory. There are so many amazing resources out there that could be incorporated into history classes and assemblies. I urge teachers to educate themselves on concepts such as critical race theory or cultural humility. I also urge us all to reexamine if we can do better and be better as individuals. I feel so happy that I was part of the RHS community because I saw things on the micro and macro level that made me feel proud. I felt proud to be a part of the “Roots and Shoots” environmental awareness club, I felt proud of the various assemblies we had on mental health, suicide, the R word, etc. I felt proud of my integrated class with Mr. Rosin and Mr. Wright, where we learned how to critically think. I think RHS is a special place with so much potential but that doesn’t mean we can’t do better.
I’m including in this email wonderful resources including lectures from my graduate multicultural counseling course (attached), books, movies, organizations, etc. I will also be working on a petition to gather signatures from alumni, members of the Radnor community, etc. to support me in this advocacy for change.
“When you expose a racist student, you stop them from attending a university that will allow them to become a racist healthcare worker, teacher, lawyer, real estate developer, politician, etc. By holding students accountable for their actions, we are effectively breaking cycles that negatively impact our communities in the long run.”
Anti-racism education google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11DKdCd4AUmwcG6igDLz9rlYJcdrJzGP6cmy3s7gNgDQ/mobilebasic
Podcasts: Code Switch, Still Processing
Books: White Fragility (Robin Diangelo), Me and White Supremacy (Layla Saad), How To Be An Antiracist (Ibram Kendi), The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander), Freedom is a Constant Struggle (Angela Davis), Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race (Reni Eddo-Lodge), Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), Color of Law (Richard Rothstein), White Teeth (Zadie Smith), Your Silence Will Not Protect You (Audre Lord), The Hate You Give (Angie Thomas), Go Tell It On The Mountain (James Baldwin), Hunger (Roxane Gay), The Fire Next Time (James Baldwin), Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi)
Movies/Shows: 13th, The Nightingale, The Color of Fear, When They See Us, I Am Not Your Negro, If Beale Street Could Talk, Do The Right Thing, Just Mercy, Moonlight, Selma, The Hate U Give, In My Blood It Runs, Jedda, Mabo, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Samson & Delilah, Sweet Country, Ten Canoes, The Sapphires, After the Apology, The Australian Dream, The Final Quarter, Mabo: Life of an Island Man, Gurrumul
__________ M.S. (She/Her/Hers)
Why is this important?
It is our duty as a community to create well-informed students that go on to make positive change in the larger society. We demand literature, textbooks, and lectures that are not sugar coated.