CLX Social Justice League

September/October 2018

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Welcome to a new year!

Claxton Elementary is excited to start their 5th year in racial equity and social justice work! Our team recently met in order to evaluate both staff and parent feedback on our work, including Family Voices night, Parent/Family Workshops and Paideia seminars. As we strive to provide an equitable learning environment that meets the needs of all learners, we will continue to use a racial equity lens in all that we do.

We will keep you updated on the dates for these events and appreciate your support!

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What is your team all about?

Our team has been working on racial equity since 2014 when we received funding from Asheville City Schools Foundation and a recap of that work can be found here.

This year, we are self-funded with the support of Claxton administrators and our fabulous Claxton PTO. Our team felt strongly that we need to carry the momentum of our work on and were able to build a bigger team to create sustainability for our school in order to make sure we have socially just and culturally responsive classrooms.We strive to grow our work with trust in each other, the process, and ourselves that will see us through any imperfection to a place of deeper understanding and respect for all.

We will continue to measure our progress by the changes we see in ourselves, and the whole Claxton staff, and the impact those changes have on our students.

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Thank you to Teaching Tolerance for their support in 2018-2019 with the integration of the Social Justice Standards!

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ACSF and CLX = Social Justice Book Study!

Asheville City Schools Foundation and the Claxton Elementary School Social Justice League are collaborating on a book club opportunity led by UNCA Asst. Professor of Sociology, Dr. Megan Underhill.
The book is "White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America" by Margaret A. Hagerman
To find out more information and how to register on their website at
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How to Foster a Positive School Climate

From Teaching Tolerance, "As the new school year begins, take proactive steps to make your school a safer, friendlier place. You have the power! This package of resources offer tools for self-reflection and learning, as well as tips for creating a more welcoming environment that affirms the humanity of all students."

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Our Instructional Facilitator and CLX Social Justice League member, Molly Peeples, sent out this amazing resource earlier this week from First Book. Check out their resources, including a downloadable calendar that can help you diversify your classroom:

From First Book: "We are excited to announce that First Book is teaming up with the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) to support educators in addressing inequity, combating bias, and fostering cultural competence in schools and programs across the country! Over the next 14 months, we will provide First Book members like you with essential resources to help you address these critically important issues with the kids you serve, including:

  • Free, supplemental resources.
  • Diverse and inclusive book recommendations.
  • Monthly tips, conversation starters, and activities.

This initiative will also include several funding opportunities to help you add more diverse and inclusive titles to your bookshelves!

Foster Cultural Competence!
Free, downloadable Sept '18 - Aug '19 Calendar

To kick off this exciting campaign, we've created a free, downloadable calendar to help you foster cultural competence by celebrating culture, diversity & inclusion with your students. Download the free calendar today and start planning events and activities throughout the school year!"

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For each newsletter, we will try to curate events that focus on social justice and racial equity that are happening in our community. We try our best to find events that the Claxton community might be interested in, but we don't catch everything. If you see something that should be included, please reach out!

Building Bridges Fall 2018 Registration

Monday, Sep. 10th, 7-9pm

Omega Middle School (Rainbow Community School) 62 State Street

Each nine-week Building Bridges session offers an introduction to the dynamics of racism and is an opportunity to explore how race has impacted our relationships, communities, and institutions.

Participants meet Mondays between September 10 and November 5 from 7 - 9 pm. Register here:

Visit our website,, for more information.

Racial Equity Institute: Sept 21 AND Sept 22

Friday, Sep. 21st, 8:30am to Saturday, Sep. 22nd, 5pm

St James AME Church 44 Hildebrand St Asheville, NC 28801

The Racial Equity Phase I Workshop moves beyond individual bias and bigotry by presenting a cultural, historical, and structural analysis of racism. This workshop helps participants become clear on how race and racism have been constructed in the US and how ideas about racism continue to live in our unconscious minds and social structures.

This workshop is appropriate for people who want to increase their understanding of why racism must be eliminated in our systems and institutions. The trainers are active anti-racism and social justice advocates and educators with years of experience and varying backgrounds. Community members, institutional players, educators, ecumenical leaders, business owners, non-profits, and all interested individuals are encouraged to attend and/or reach out to learn more about the workshop.

Attendance BOTH FULL DAYS of the Workshop is required.

Our Organizing team is committed to racial equity and ensuring that people who are most negatively impacted by racism are present and have the opportunity to add their voices to the workshop conversations. The goal is for over half of participants to be people of color. To this end, we close registration to white participants once we hit 22 white registrants. We encourage organizations and individuals to support our commitment to true racial equity by purchasing additional seats (1+) at full cost ($250) or by contributing any amount toward a retainer fund for equitable seats.

Register for this here!

More information about REI at Asheville:

UNC Asheville Visiting Writer Series: Frank X Walker

Tuesday, Sep. 25th, 7-8:30pm

1 University Heights

Asheville, NC

UNC Asheville’s Visting Writer Series presents authors reading from and discussing their works and their writing process. These events are free and open to everyone.

Frank X Walker begins the fall series at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, in UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center, in the Manheimer Room.

Walker, UNC Asheville’s Goodman Endowed Visiting Artist, is the editor of America! What's My Name? The "Other" Poets Unfurl the Flag and Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium, and the author of numerous poetry collections, including Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers; Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York, winner of the 35th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award; and Affrilachia, a Kentucky Public Librarians' Choice Award nominee. He is also credited for coining the term “Affrilachian” in response to the conception that all Appalachians are poor, rural, and white. In 2013, Walker became the first African-American to be named Kentucky’s poet laureate, and in 2014 he was awarded the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry.

The Affrilachian Poets, which Walker cofounded in 1991, is a multicultural collective dedicated to defying the stereotype of Appalachia as a racially homogenized rural region. The group includes poets, playwrights, and writers of many ethnicities and backgrounds who consider Appalachia home. “Affrilachian” is now an entry in the Oxford American Dictionary, second edition.

My Place in Race: an event for Middle Schoolers

Saturday, Sep. 29th, 9am-4pm

Evergreen Community Charter School | 50 Bell Road | Asheville, NC 28805

Evergreen Community Charter School and Rainbow Community School is holding a workshop for Middle Schoolers called My Place in Race on Saturday, 29 September from 9-4:00. Here are some key points that will be addressed:

- participate in meaningful and intentional dialogue around the concept of race

- engage with the dynamics of the oppressed/privilege model

- understand and self-identify their own racial identity

- formulate and employ their own form of engagement in the greater global conversation around racial equity.

Register at

Lunch, snacks, and transportation will be provided.

African Americans in WNC & Southern Appalachia Conference

Thursday, Oct. 18th, 6:30pm to Saturday, Oct. 20th, 11pm

1 University Heights

Asheville, NC

The fifth annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference returns to Asheville this fall, offering scholars and the community an opportunity to illuminate the African American experience in Southern Appalachia. The three-day event from Oct. 18-20 will feature a variety of topics, including race in education, social justice, and history while highlighting regional African American culture, with a theme of “Making the Invisible Visible.”

Conference activities are free and open to everyone with advance registration requested at or by calling 828.255.7219.

The conference will begin with an opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the YMI Cultural Center, continue on Oct. 19-20 with scholarly presentations and community panels at UNC Asheville, and conclude with an awards night at The Collider on Saturday, Oct. 20.

On the schedule this year are a roundtable discussion on Crafting Affrilachia, in partnership with The Center for Craft and led by Marie T. Cochran, founder of the Affrilachian Artist Project; black-owned business panels and exhibits in partnership with Mountain BizWorks; a performance in tribute to Jacob Lawrence at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center; and an announcement of The City of Asheville Visiting Artist. The CoThinkk Awards Night at The Collider returns, along with the Jesse and Julia Ray Lecture, given by Appalachian studies scholar William H. Turner.

The conference receives funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which awarded UNC Asheville a grant of $700,000 for public arts and humanities in 2017. One of the grant goals is to further initiatives in Affrilachia, uncovering what has been the largely undocumented influence of African Americans on the culture and social fabric of Western North Carolina. Conference sponsors include the City of Asheville, Buncombe County Government, Mission Health, Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, Amy Mandel and Katina Rodis Fund, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville, McClure Fund, Wilma Dykeman Society, and the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission.

Additional conference details are available at Advance registration is requested online at or by calling 828.255.7219.
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*This resource came from the March 8th session on "Talking With Your Kids About Race"

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Have some recommendations for us? Retweet, share or post with #clxsocialjustice


Podcast: Seeing White: A 14-part documentary series exploring whiteness in America—where it came from, what it means, and how it works.

Podcast: The Waters and Harvey Show: This Asheville podcast explores the experiences of historically marginalized people and their communities, and considers the influence those experiences have within our increasingly diverse society.

Podcast: The Show About Race: the podcast that gets real in not-so-post-racial America


Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart: YA novel (located in Claxton Media Center): "A compelling dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder. Their powerful story will shred your heart, then stitch it back together with kindness, humor, bravery, and love."


Back to School Resources from Teaching Tolerance: "Back-to-school season is an exciting opportunity for a fresh start, but it can also be overwhelming. These articles offer time-tested suggestions for making your classroom and school places where all students can thrive."

Teaching Tolerance: Digital Literacy Lessons: "The internet is an amazing tool for teaching and learning. But, before we can teach students to harness its power and become good citizens of the web, we need to understand the intricacies of how it works and how it can be manipulated to mislead and even harm users."

Actions for Allies for LGBTQ students: Here you can find specific ways to be an ally for LGBTQ students of color, students with disabilities, & trans and GNC students.