CP&I Newsletter #AISDAtHome

~~~~Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness ~ June 2020~~~~

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CP&I Vision

Provide ongoing, meaningful coaching and professional learning opportunities for Austin ISD staff to engage in critical self-reflection on their interaction with students and their families in a manner that considers the diverse needs of all. The goals and objectives (Logic Model & Culture & Climate IDT Recommendations) for the office, outlined by the Austin ISD Race Equity Council, are focused on clearly communicating an equitable and responsive lens in all that we do. The Race Equity Council serves as our body of partners committed to the work and possessing the multiple perspectives to keep our focus on the vision.

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Critical Race Theory: Interest Convergence

Critical Race Theory (CRT) formed from a collective movement built on the work of activists in critical legal studies and radical feminism. This month we highlight Interest Convergence to honor the work first articulated by critical race pioneer Derrick Bell. Bell’s intent in framing the concept was to help us recognize white interests, conduct a thorough analysis of the pervasiveness of race (See February newsletter), and the reality of race in our society. Bell invites us in this current global context to examine the historical narratives that frame the white/black binary, modern-day policing founded on slave patrols, and the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on the health of poor BIPoC. When we examine these narratives from a critical lens centering race, we cannot deny what we see. We are faced with the fact that socio-historical-political interests have designed the US to produce the impacts that create the boiling point for protests, peaceful & violent nationally due to systemic violence on BIPoC. We cannot deny the reality that “essential” workers responding to COVID-19 and those who could not #StayAtHome were and still are overwhelmingly BIPoC and poor. Interest convergence is playing out in the national dialogue. As I write, Austin native Drew Brees has pulled back his statement on kneeling as a defamation of the flag because his voice, his interest, has converged with the need to remain in community with his black teammates.

I share the article "Critical Race Theory Meets Culturally Relevant Pedagogy:Advancing a Critical Sociohistorical Consciousness for Teaching and Curriculum" below to offer more perspective on how white interests have historically driven the current narrative.

Read Sociohistorical Consciousness for Teaching

Click for "Critical Race Theory Meets Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Advancing a Critical Sociohistorical Consciousness for Teaching and Curriculum". Includes a lesson plan on interest convergence in the historical context of Lincoln freeing slaves

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Black Voices, Curricular Choices

Guest edited by Dr. Angela M. Ward who coauthors a piece with Bavu Blakes, this issue is a celebration of activists and activism. Each article features a lesson plan to assist the reader with the creation of space and new narratives for black students in schools. The authors promote a shared vision of community engagement with those who continue the work of our ancestors for a more just existence in America. It is a celebration of Black Lives that Matter.
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Cultural Proficiency Grant Specialist:

This position will oversee and supervise all aspects of the three-year U.S. Department of Justice Comprehensive School-Based Approach to Youth Violence and Victimization Program.

Employees in this position must be skilled in supporting the proactive equity-focused implementation of youth violence and victimization prevention, intervention and accountability in a middle and/or high school-based setting.Please click the link below for more information about this position.


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Isolating Race Daily in Austin ISD

If you attended a face-to-face Isolating Race professional learning session with the CP&I team AND you're an Austin ISD employee, you have been added to a BLEND course for ongoing learning. The BLEND course is called "CP&I Professional Learning: Ongoing" and the module you will enter is "Isolating Race Daily." Please check your inbox for an email from cultural.proficiency@austinisd.org for directions and your password to access the module.

*A new discussion board was added on June 9th, so check in and engage with your colleagues!

Speak Up: How to Respond to Everyday Prejudice, Bias, & Stereotypes

This session is for principals only.

June 15th 1:00-4:00 HCP #95279

June 16th 9:00-12:00 HCP #95280

June 22nd 9:00-12:00 HCP #95281

June 24th 1:00-4:00 HCP #95282

Description: As the largest No Place For Hate district in the nation, Austin ISD is committed to providing a psychologically, physically, & emotionally safe environment for all of our students. Principals, you are crucial decision makers in the lives of each student in your school. The recent worldwide events highlight the need to prepare you to engage in difficult dialogue to nurture safe, welcoming and inclusive schools virtually and face-to-face. Join us in a special Principal Speak Up Session to learn with your colleagues, share practice and build language to disrupt incidents that can push students and staff away. In this interactive 3-hour Zoom session (30-minute break in midway), you will become familiar with the Austin ISD board policy on harassment and your role in teaching it to staff, examine the ADL's Pyramid of Hate, learn strategies to speak up, & practice interrupting biased language or stereotypes to be prepared when it happens in their classrooms, schools, or online spaces. As a trainer-of-trainer session, principals will be equipped with the practice, materials, and strategies for facilitating Speak Up: How to Respond to Everyday Prejudice, Bias, and Stereotypes with the staff on their campus or in a virtual space. We will model how to use breakouts, the chat function and other Zoom tools to prepare you for success in an online environment.

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SEL Symposium "Creating Everyday Brave Spaces"

Austin ISD staff, have you registered for the 2020 Virtual SEL Symposium "Creating Everyday Brave Spaces" for this Thursday?

There's still space, so sign up in the HCP today!

  • June 11: 8 a.m. - 12:35 p.m. - Live, synchronous sessions (HCP #95067) 3 PLED credits
  • June 11-14 - Asynchronous sessions in BLEND (HCP #95073) 3 PLED credits

This virtual symposium is a peer-to-peer learning opportunity for participants to take a deeper dive into the important work of social and emotional learning with a culturally responsive approach. They will participate in a variety of relevant and interactive professional learning sessions by district staff, community members, and special guests.

There are over 50 sessions to choose from and to see the full schedule, sign up in the HCP!

Below we highlight some of the guest presenters

Dr. Stacey Ault

8: 00 Keynote Speaker

Dr. Stacey Ault founded the Race and Gender Equity (RAGE) Project in 2016. A Black led, people of color driven organization rooted in healing justice, Critical Race Theory and human rights frameworks. Our team is committed to supporting and uplifting youth and community members as they create change locally and globally. We are they ...

Stacey has spent her career in direct partnership with youth and community members fighting for social change. As an Assistant Professor, and former Public Administrator, Dr. Ault uses her Critical Post Traumatic Growth framework to help transform individuals, institutions and community organizations.

Dr. Ault received her doctorate in International and Multicultural Education, with an emphasis in Human Rights Education from the University of San Francisco. She received her BA in Psychology, and MSW from Sacramento State, where she now teaches.

Lorena Germán

9:05 - Steps to Anti Racist SEL Teaching

10:55 - DisruptTexts

Click here to learn more about Lorena Germán and the sessions she will be facilitating.

shea martin

10:00 - Undoing Selfie Pedagogy: Re-centering Students in Our Practice

10:55 - Queer-ing Classrooms: Supporting All Students through LGBTQ+ Inclusive Education

Click here to learn more about shea martin and the sessions they will be facilitating.

Julia Torres

9:05 - Librarianship and Social-Emotional Learning: New Intersections and Possibilities

10:55 - DisruptTexts

Click here to learn more about Julia Torres and the sessions she will be facilitating.

Riders Against the Storm

11:50 Closing Session

Riders Against the Storm are award-winning performance artists, musicians, keynotes, designers, influencers and curators whose contributions cannot be overstated. While their music continues to take hold they are growing their legacy into tech and philanthropic platforms – setting their sights on surfacing indigenous frameworks to inform and shift current business paradigms. Through partnerships with companies like Tito’s Vodka, Lyft, and others, Chaka and Qi Dada intend to create content, music, art, programs, events, and more that spurs social change and inspires awareness amongst their base – guiding us into an era where art and spirit lead our decision-making towards sustainability and wellness.

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Austin ISD Virtual Equity Summit

Tuesday, June 30th 2020 at 1pm

This is an online event.

Save the Date! This event is a collaboration between the Austin ISD Equity Office and the Office of Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness. More information to come!
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Teachers, We Cannot Go Back to the Way Things Were

Read this excerpt from Kelisa Wing and then read the whole article here.


We will change the narrative by:

  • Holding ourselves individually and mutually accountable: When you see something, say something. It does not matter if it is at your dinner table, the hallways of your school or on an outing with friends. We must combat racism by facing everyday bias head-on. Teaching Tolerance provides great resources to do just this. We can no longer be silent about the things that matter!
  • Ensuring representation is at the forefront: Look around your committee, your table, your office, your curriculum—who is there? Who is not there? Why? Challenge yourselves to ensure that the people not currently at the table are represented on your committee, in your images, and in your curriculum because representation matters!
  • Caring about more than ourselves: It does not matter if this is not personally impacting you. It should matter that Black people are still underpaid, mistreated, underrepresented. It should matter that Black men are so feared by police officers that a routine traffic stop can quickly turn into a death sentence. It should not matter if you have students of color or not, you still should care.


Read the article in it's entirety here.

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Announcing BARWE's 2020 Summer Reading Series! Join other educators across the country in reading Stamped by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi and We Want to Do More Than Survive by Bettina Love.

BARWE will host two online meetings about each text, and facilitate an online discussion in the weeks prior to each meeting (likely through a Facebook group, keep an eye out for the link to join).

Dates for our online meetings (all 4-5:30pm Eastern Time):

  • June 30 - Stamped
  • July 14 - Stamped
  • July 28 - We Want to Do More Than Survive
  • August 11 - We Want to Do More Than Survive

They will send out RSVP links prior to each online meeting, and then share Zoom links with folks who register. All updates will come through their mailing list - so if you haven't yet, please subscribe here.

BARWE encourages everyone to buy their books from Black-owned bookshops. Here is a great list of Black-owned bookstores across the country and here is a more extensive list that you can use to find a Black-owned store near you.

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Black Lives Texas

IUPRA is proud to announce our new podcast: Black Lives Texas. Learn more about the show here: https://shows.acast.com/black-lives-texas/

In this first season, we're discussing the impact of COVID-19 on education. The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated pre-existing inequities for Black students and families, such as access to food and technology. In our podcast, we’re talking to the communities that are being directly impacted and the experts who are working for change.

We want to include YOUR voice in the conversation around COVID-19 and education in Texas. Listen to the trailer and let us know how you and your family are coping with distance learning. Send us a voice memo or email at blacklivestexaspodcast@gmail.com, or forward this message to your networks so we can share more Black stories and voices.

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Culturally Responsive Restorative Practices in Austin ISD

In Austin ISD Culturally Responsive Restorative Practices (CRRP) foster a campus environment where students, families, and staff work together to create trusting relationships, identity-safe spaces, and a sense of belonging and connection to the community. CRRP are based on practices used for thousands of years by indigenous peoples around the world. In Austin, we honor the original stewards who lived on this land: the Tonkawa, Karankawa, Comanche and the Coahuiltecan and their ways of being and knowing.

Humans are wired for connection to our communities and hold a deep desire to have a true sense of belonging and when we are physically distant this becomes a challenge and a stress for us. In our current context we are separated physically from one another which impacts our ability to create and sustain trusting relationships.

Take a look at the blog linked below for some ideas of how to take care of yourself and others during this current reality. In the blog Sandra Kim outlines ways to care for self, care for loved ones, care for our community and care for those who are most impacted during this time. We share this in hopes that it can create a sense of connection and belonging to sustain you.

4 Ways to You can Take Caring Action

Culturally Responsive Restorative Practices Webinar

We are pleased to share that our very own Dr. Angela M. Ward, Race Equity Administrative Supervisor, with principals Leti Peña from Blazier Elementary and Brandi Hosack from McCallum High School, are informing statewide Mental Health and Restorative Practices work through a webinar and module in Texas Education Agency's Tiered Interventions based on Evidence-Based Research (TIER) series. Watch the video below to hear Dr. Ward facilitate a conversation about how Culturally Responsive Restorative Practices supports Mental Health in schools. In this module they guide participants to an understanding of the connections between restorative practices, SEL and trauma-informed practices in the Multi-tiered Systems of Support Model.

PowerPoint, handouts, and video also available here: https://tier.tea.texas.gov/mental-health

Mental Health - Restorative Practices
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What We're Reading

Let's Talk

Click here if you have questions or need further support from Austin ISD.

Past CP&I Newsletters

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