“Let’s never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”- Cornel West
Dear Castro Valley Unified School District Families & Community,
The senseless death of George Floyd is yet another reminder of the urgent need for us to speak up against injustice, as well as policies and practices that have failed our communities of color for years. The list of victims of racism is exhaustingly long and beckons every one of us to examine the systems and structures in place that pave the way for such violations and maltreatments to continue.
I am encouraged by the level of advocacy and care displayed by hundreds of thousands of people in our county and around the world. Every background, color, ethnicity and religion is sharing their sorrow and deep dismay of the status quo and is urging change. With a unified and strong voice calling for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many other victims of racism, this watershed moment can be one that our children and grandchildren can look back on with pride for how we were able to change the world for the better. In CVUSD, this means affirming that Black Lives Matter in our schools and our community. This is a momentous opportunity that requires us to be vigilant, tireless, and courageous. As Melvin Carter, the Mayor of Saint Paul said so eloquently in light of recent events, “We must be peaceful but not patient when it comes to demanding and making change.”
Tackling institutionalized racism necessitates each and every one of us to personally examine our own unconscious biases. It starts with each of us in our homes and with our children learning about the importance of fairness, treating people with dignity, showing compassion, and seeing adults model anti-racist behavior. It starts with each of us in our positions speaking up when we hear words that should never be used in our communities. Every organization must examine and dismantle the structures and policies that allow the intricate web of injustice and racism to fester and replace them with those that are just, equitable, and accountable. We must remain focused and resolute.
Most important, our words must be matched by our actions. As an organization responsible for educating the future generation, our goal is to ensure that we continue to remove every barrier to security and prosperity for all. In CVUSD, this may look like actively partnering with the community to push for equity throughout our community with the Community Alliance. It can mean using one of the equity rubrics created by our Curriculum Advisory Team to guide us as we adopt and review policies and ensure that we lift and value the contributions of communities of color. It may look like joining the Equity Task Force and working on district wide initiatives to create more equitable learning environments. For some, it means participating in the next session of Black Minds Matter, a course that CVUSD offers for parents, teachers and administrators to learn about effective strategies to improve our educational supports for our African American students.
In CVUSD, we believe that All Means All. This means that every student is deserving of the best opportunities to be happy, healthy and successful. We can only realize this vision by lifting up each student and affirming that Black Lives Matter in CVUSD. We are deeply invested in this work as a district and understand that there is much more to be done. We are committed!