Friday, June 5, 2020

Calling For Racial Equity

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

By Sam Piha

The recent protests demanding racial equity have resulted in many supportive statements from afterschool intermediaries and providers marking a turning point, hopefully, in our country. We were inspired by the rally and march organized by youth at Oakland Technical High School (which is two blocks from my home). It was very successful and well attended- over 15,000 in attendance (read more here about how they did it). Oakland Tech High School has a strong history of student activism. Students from this high school lobbied the California legislature in the early 80’s calling for a holiday to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr- which contributed to a national movement.

Source: Akil Riley, 19, one of the co-organizers of Monday's massive youth-led action against
police violence that started at Oakland Tech. Photo: Darwin Bondgraham,

Pedro Noguera, UCLA
“Educators. This is a teachable moment. Don’t be afraid to teach about the meaning of justice and the murder of George Floyd by the police. Our students are watching.” -Pedro Noguera, UCLA

“It is not enough to acknowledge the inequities that exist. Now is the time to direct our collective outrage to create real change.” -Karen Niemi, President & CEO, CASEL

It is important that we educate ourselves and others and serve as allies and lend support to youth to take the lead on this issue. There are many resources being offered by OST organizations. Below are a few resources that may be helpful which were suggested by the California Afterschool Network (CAN).

“The out-of-school time field is one of liberation; it has always been a space fertile for the birthing and development of a future we have yet to behold. A future where the hearts of our children are on fire with possibilities, their minds are filled with images of wonder, their ears are filled with freedom songs and their bodies are FREE. Their bodies are FREE. FREE to live, to grow, to be.”- Isabelle Mussard, JD, Executive Director, CalSAC


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