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It had not been my intention to include another quote from Martin Luther King Jr. in my next newsletter, but recent events brought his powerful words to mind.
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
― Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Despite so much progress, the work of which Dr. King spoke, to create a more just and equitable society, is still before us. The faculty and staff of Burbank think that this work is important, and we believe it is even more so now. Building on the past 5 years of effort to incorporate Culturally Responsive Teaching into our practice, a committee of 14 of our educators from across the grade levels and subject areas of our school came together to address the topics of race and racism in our society.
Over the past three months, our group worked hard to develop a strategy to engage our students in age-appropriate ways. Our plans include the repurposing of our Burbank Community Meetings (not possible in the current environment) as Community Conversations. We will begin our conversations focusing on identity and how race is part of our identities. Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman underscores the importance of giving our students the opportunity to speak to each other about these important ideas in her poem, "Talking Gets Us There".
We would like to offer you the opportunity to join us to share our plans with you. On Thursday evening at 7:15 pm, directly after the Burbank Library Night event, I will host a community evening for parents, guardians, and grown ups to learn about the work we have planned. (A meeting link will follow later in the week) With your informed support we look forward to productive conversations in our classrooms beginning the week of February 1st.
We recognize that our first, second, or even third conversation will not solve the problems we currently face. But we believe that it is the “time for vigorous and positive action,” and that “talking gets us there.”