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Article: We Must Unite Against Hatred and Racial Injustice

We Must Unite Against Hatred and Racial Injustice

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What an incredibly sad time in our country. The racially motivated injustices and crimes that are continuing to occur across the nation are hard to watch, hard to digest and hard to understand.

Just as I can’t understand why events like this keep happening over and over again, I also recognize that I can’t understand what it must feel like as an African American living in our country right now.  This weekend I spent a lot of time reflecting on the privileges that I have taken for granted as a white male living in suburban Ohio. I have never had to fear for my life while jogging through my neighborhood. I have never had the police called on me for a simple walk through the park. I’ve never thought twice about wearing a hoodie.  I could go on and on.  

In light of just too many instances of injustice in recent months, there is now a sense of urgency that we all must share in ending the mistreatment of our fellow citizens. It is crucial that we have conversations with our children about racism, social injustice and privilege. It is important for us as parents to open this dialogue at home, and it is just as important for us as educators to explore ways to discuss these matters in our classrooms.  

In the Mariemont City School District, we have made our stance very clear that we support and encourage all of our students, staff and their families regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other individual characterization. We will not tolerate any acts of hate or exclusion.

We launched the Global and Cultural Perspectives Committee in 2015 and have continued to grow its size and scope of work throughout the last five years, with administrators, staff and community members working together to better our school district.  While I am so proud of how far we have come, I know that we still have a long way to go. As a school district, we will continue to advocate for inclusiveness, kindness and love every day.

I thought deeply about what to write today as I did not want to be perceived as opportunistic, self-promoting or just jumping on the bandwagon of other leaders. However, with the realities that so many are facing each and every day, we have to do better, and I must do my part by speaking up.

Today I am asking our community to join me in taking a stand. It takes courage.  It takes strength. It takes many voices. Let's continue to learn and continue to fight against hatred and racial injustice. Let's continue to make our district the best it can be - a place where every single student, staff member and community member feels safe, seen, heard and loved.

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