EDC Digest ~June 2021

Newsletter of the Equity and Diversity Council

About the Equity and Diversity Council (EDC)

The Equity and Diversity Council (EDC) of the West Hartford Public Schools collaborate as a faculty and staff advisory that seek to promote equity, advance diversity, and foster inclusiveness across all areas of our district’s programs and services. The EDC upholds the Vision for Equity and Anti-Racism...(read more)


WATCH: Tuesday, June 1st at 7:00 PM. Second reading and adoption of a revised proposed Educational Equity Policy will take place during the Board Meeting. Accessible online and via local access channels on a laptop, computer, television or mobile device at https://www.whctv.org/programming/video-on-demand/board-ed-met with closed captioning.

~~~June is Pride Month~~~~ Celebrate Diversity and Unity

June is Pride Month. It is a time meant to celebrate unity within diversity. June is also a time to recognize the sweeping impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, advocates and allies have on history in the U.S. and around the globe. Pride Month events draw millions of participants together from around the world each year. Month-long celebrations and recognition events in many communities commonly include parades, marches, rallies and performances. In schools, recognition activities may include read-ins, read-alouds, high school student panel discussions, adult workshops and classroom advisory lessons that honor diversity of individuals, foster inclusion and promote respect for all identities.


The American Defamation League reminds us that while June is a good time for communities to talk about equal rights and treatment of people in all aspects of life, it is important not to isolate cultures and identities into one month during the year. Promoting appreciation of the differences that make each of us who we are, and that together make us a community, is something that we can do all year long.

Juneteenth~ Learn and Celebrate

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally recognized commemoration of the ending of enslavement in the United States. Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 in recognition of the the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 that officially ended enslavement, but t would take two and a half years to be enacted in Texas.


JUNETEENTH WHPS AND WEST HARTFORD EVENTS


  • Monday, June 10th, Juneteenth Jamboree Author /Illustrator Visit -Carol Weatherford & Jeffrey "The Poet" (Son) Author Carole Boston Weatherford & her son, illustrator Jeffery Boston Weatherford, will provide two 45-60 min virtual live presentations of Ms. Weatherford’s book, Juneteenth Jamboree, to WHPS Grade 5 students. Carole Weatherford will read her book, JUNETEENTH JAMBOREE, and talk about their ancestors. Jeffery will share some interactive spoken word. They will show students a corn husk doll, ask for name suggestions for the doll, and share a resource sheet so students can make their own corn husk doll. They have provided printed instructions on how to make a doll at home. A copy of the book will be provided to each Grade 5 classroom prior to the presentation date. Book Description: “Joining her parents in a community celebration of Juneteenth, Cassie learns about the day when slaves in Texas were freed some two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and wonders why the news took so long to reach them.” (Source: Amazon)


  • Saturday, June 19 & Sunday, June 20-West Hartford Juneteenth Celebration- "A large Juneteenth celebration in West Hartford is planned for the weekend of June 19th-20th, including an art exhibit featuring people of color, which will will be opening on June 5. In 2020, a proclamation was made acknowledging Juneteenth and the celebration. In early 2021, the West Hartford Town Council made Juneteenth an official holiday in the town. The events on June 19 begin at 12 noon at Town Hall will include a community picnic and an African libation ceremony, along with drummers and dancers, including Friends World Music and Alvin Carter, Jr. West Hartford Board of Education vice-chair Dr. Lorna Thomas Farquarson and daughter Julianna will give an inter-generational keynote speech. Several other local artists will be performing. At 2:30 p.m., an unveiling of a Martin Luther King-inspired mural will take place at Blue Back Square, which will include local leadership, West Hartford people of color who have made history, including Bristow, a West Harford slave owned by Thomas Hooker who bought his own freedom, and Gertrude Blanks, a storyteller who grew up in Hartford and has documented her experiences with racism" (Source: Hartford Courant, May 28, 2021).
WHPS Parent University (Past Event Materials/Resources)

We are so proud of all of our equity champions and all they give to each and every family in the WHPS community. If you missed it, check out presentations and resources provided by our colleagues & partners during the May 27th Parent University.


  • Rental Assistance Program for families impacted by the pandemic. Information is available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DOH/DOH/Programs/UniteCT. Under the program the State will provide financial assistance to pay down rental arrears and help with future rent for families who have lost income as a result of the pandemic. If anyone has questions about the program the CT Fair Housing Office has some experience with it would be happy to provide assistance. Families can visit http://www.ctfairhousing.org or call Greg Kirschner directly at (860) 263-0724.


Gallery of SEL and Cultural Competence Strategies

The Professional Development Committee of the EDC invites colleagues to access SEL and Cultural Competence Strategies from the March Equity CSI. Thank you colleagues for all of your contributions to this resource toolbox.