4J Office of Equity Update

June 2, 2020 -- Addressing Systemic Racism, Bias & Hate

A message From Dr. Karen Pérez- Equity, Instruction & Partnerships Administrator in 4J

It is each of our job to take at least one step towards addressing racism, our own biases and hate in our schools and in our community.

Please take a minute or two to read, to listen to the stories of our students, staff and family members and/or to learn more about how to be an anti-racists teacher/community member/friend.

If I do nothing, I am perpetuating racism. In the skin that I am in, I need you to be my co-conspirator/allay in addressing racism, bias and hate.

Dr. Karen Pérez

Khan Academy Resources

Dear members of the Khan Academy community,

We believe education can be an important catalyst for self reflection, personal learning, and systemic change. And we view it as our duty to educate ourselves and our community. To that end, we've curated a series of videos and articles about Black history and culture that we'd like to share with you.

The Black community faces deep inequity and racism. We can better understand why by learning about our shared history. Knowing about the events, people, and ideas that shaped our country can empower people and inspire change.

Learn about Black history, politics, and culture with Khan Academy.

For additional information, watch these videos from Homeroom with Sal and Common Sense Media:

A Path to Ending Systemic Racism with Sal & Bill Lewis, former NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund co-chair

•Bill Lewis discusses the social transformation we are experiencing and ways we can move forward to more equality.

A Discussion With Sal About Systemic Racism

•Sal spoke to our community about the broad reaches of systemic racism. He shared personal reflections and stories about friends who have experienced racial profiling.

Homeroom With Sal & the Mayor of San Jose, California

•Mayor Sam Liccardo talked with Sal about the ways regional leaders across government, the private sector, and nonprofits are working together to move forward.

Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma, and Race in a World of Nonstop News

•Common Sense Media’s conversation with child development experts on how to support kids, and each other, through challenging times.

We hope this information can help inform and enlighten.

Please know that we’re here to support you,
The Khan Academy team

Cómo hablar con tus hijos sobre el racismo

A Message From Dr. Gustavo Balderas & Cydney Vandercar

Dear colleagues,

The last few days have been hard for our country and our community. Like all too many past events, the death of another unarmed person of color in police custody did not occur here, but it is felt here, and everywhere.

The senseless death of George Floyd, as well as Ahmaud Arbery and so many others before them, the outpouring of grief and outrage across the country, and the subsequent instances of destruction in some cities, have been on the minds of many students and staff members. There is anger and there is fear.

Our hearts go out to all of those who have exercised their first amendment rights and peacefully protested for a more safe and just society. Please, continue to exercise your freedom of speech, speak your mind and stand up for what you believe in. Let your voices be loud.

Our thoughts also are with all of our staff, students and families, and our community, but especially our communities of color, who may be impacted by the recent news and events across our country. Know that you are seen and heard.

The damage done by some bad actors to people, property and business owners also hurts and fractures our community. Our local law enforcement agencies are straining to simultaneously support peaceful protest and safeguard persons and property.

As the superintendent of this great district over the past five years, time and again I have sent messages to you reflecting our sadness and supporting students who don’t feel safe due to deaths or threats or political events in our country. Too many times.

I’ve grown weary of grief, as have many of you, and of seeing our country torn by systemic injustice and unequal treatment of people because of the color of their skin. For many, this is our national reality: If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

This hurts. It hurts our families and our community. And with our community stretched and strained after three months under some level of quarantine, the hurt is harder.

As we rise to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic—teaching remotely, feeding families, providing technology access, supporting our youth’s mental health, and bracing for budget cuts—we must strive too to meet this defining challenge of our time.

When one of our communities is targeted by hatred or impacted by injustice, we all grieve. It is a time to come together and redouble our commitment to standing against institutional racism, making sure our schools are safe spaces for every student, every staff member and every family, and ensuring social justice is at the center of everything we do. We are even more committed to serving and supporting our students of color, who are the too frequent victims of racism and racist acts. We are even more committed to our efforts to ensure that our students and families see themselves represented in our staff, and that our staff of color are safe and supported as well.

Our schools and our community should be safe havens where all children are respected and nurtured, where discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated, and where all can thrive in the expectation of equity and justice.

The safest place for our kids is in our schools. But during this COVID crisis, we are not able to connect with our students in our usual brick-and-mortar classrooms. This makes it difficult as students are not able to process their thoughts with their peers and teachers in the usual classroom environment. We have to do this through our check-ins and our structured class times online.

In times of unrest, teachers and parents can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, and talking with them openly about issues that are impacting them, their questions, their anger, and their fears. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides more detailed recommendations in the resources “Talking to Children About Violence,” tips for educators and parents for supporting vulnerable students in stressful times, and has shared a call for action to end racism and violence against people of color.

We also need to care for ourselves and each other, as well as for the students in our care. If you find yourself troubled by this past week's events or by any other concerns, free confidential counseling and support is available through the district's employee assistance program provider, Reliant Behavioral Health. Visit www.myrbh.com (access code is OEBB) or call 1-866-750-1327. The person you speak with will be able to refer you to local programs and resources and can help you choose an appropriate counselor to talk to. Crisis support is available 24 hours a day.

Thank you for caring for not only our students but yourselves and each other. We stand together against systemic racism, and we stand up for each other. Together we are strong.

Our society can and must do better, and we must all be part of the solution. Our children are depending on it.

Gustavo and Cydney

Gustavo Balderas Cydney Vandercar

Superintendent Incoming Interim Superintendent

Eugene School District 4J


Addressing Racism and Acts of Violence Against the African American Community with Students and Staff


ADL Fighting Hate For Good


Our collection of K-12 classroom blended and online learning solutions for educators and students promotes critical thinking and learning around historical and current events topics through the lens of diversity, bias and social justice.


Anti-racism Resources from Karen Apgar

This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work.
School psychologists and other educators can proactively help students and staff in the following ways.

• Think critically about structures, systems, and policies that have historically marginalized some groups and caused long-term inequities.

• Recognize and understand the truth about racism and White privilege, and examine our own perspectives and implicit and explicit biases that contribute to perpetuating these systemic problems.

• Speak up when we see someone saying or acting harmfully to others; name it as racism when it is.

• Establish the knowledge and systems to recognize and address acute stress and trauma in students and staff who experience or are vulnerable to racism.

• Advocate for and engage in frank discussions about racism and privilege, and provide students and staff tools to combat it.

• Teach and reinforce nonviolent approaches to bringing about changes in public attitudes, policies, and behaviors.

• Model civil discourse and provide opportunities to engage children and youth in conversations that focus on common goals rather than labeling groups of people because of individual behavior.

• Examine the mechanisms of power and punishment, and work to ensure positive, equitable discipline policies and practices in every school.

• Establish and reinforce trusting relationships among students, staff, families, community providers, and law enforcement.

• Ensure that, if law enforcement is present in schools, officers are carefully selected and trained, are not involved in routine discipline, and are evaluated regularly for behaving in ways consistent with training provided by the National Association of School Resource Officers.

• Advocate for public policies that address the destructive, systemic inequities of poverty and racism.

4J Office of Equity, Instruction & Partnerships

Office of Equity, Instruction & Partnerships Support Staff

Contact: Katie McRae



4J Translation & Interpretation Services

Request an interpreter or a translation at:

4J Translation & Interpretation

Contact: Vanessa Vasquez



English Language Learner Supports

Contact: Lily Gold



Migrant Education Supports - Lane ESD

Contact: Ana Arias



Dual Language Immersion Supports

Contact: Lynette Williams


541-521-1874 (Cell) | 541-790-7561 (Desk)

Student Affinity Group Supports

Contact: Dr. Bob Bolden



Middle School Mentoring Supports

Link to Information about this program

Contact: Kate Becker


Black & African American Student Success Program Supports

Contact: Holli Johnson, Coordinator


(541) 461-8211