As DC PCSB Staff, We Stand in Solidarity with Black Communities
Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. David McAtee. These names are on our hearts and minds, but many came before them.
DC PCSB’s mission is to provide quality public charter school options for DC students, families, and communities. The inequities in public education are rooted in systemic racism, and our mission is inherently linked to anti-racist work.
As DC PCSB staff, we come from different races, ages, backgrounds, and experiences, and are each grappling with the impacts of systemic racism in our country. Staff have been sharing their feelings and thoughts, which differ and may contradict each other, but represent the hurt, confusion, weariness, and anger of the moment:
I cannot NOT hurt. My brothers, cousins, friends – they’re out there. I feel like I’m not doing enough. I need everyone to be my ally because I don’t have the words any more.
I am a Black woman, with a Black husband, and Black brothers, and a Black son. And the emotions are unrelenting.
Black people can’t take a break from this. As a white person, I have the privilege to not engage.
This time I don’t have the energy. The pandemic has worn me down.
My anxiety is high. It often feels like we’re destined to repeat mistakes.
This is violence that is routine, that’s learned, that’s become the norm.
Everything is landing on the body – all of the emotions, we’re carrying them all in our bodies.
Who’s there for you if you’re taking care of everyone else?
These are the conversations that are happening in our office, and likely in students’ homes, in virtual classrooms, and across social media platforms.
DC PCSB has been on an internal journey to understand the collective impact of interpersonal, institutional, and systemic racism in our country on Washington, DC’s public education sector. This work has been led by our Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Steering Committee.
Grounded in the race, equity, diversity, and inclusion work we have begun, DC PCSB pledges to take the time to reflect, listen, and hold space for one another. We commit to continuous learning about ourselves, our sector, and our city. We believe through ongoing dialogue, examining our practices through an equity and anti-racist lens, and engaging with students, families, schools, and communities, we can work together to disrupt systemic racism and inequity in our community.