Equity Update


June is Pride Month

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Pride month is meant to recognize the sweeping impact LGBTQ individuals, advocates and allies have on the history of the United States. The month is to commemorate the Stonewall riots in June of 1969. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBTQ rights movements. The colors of the LGBTQ flag each have a meaning: Red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony, and violet for spirit.

Please click on the link below for some local Pride Month events:


Tulsa Race Massacre

It has become apparent that when learning United States history in our schools that we only learned part of it. More and more significant events and actions are coming to light and these need to be folded into our history lessons to help our students get a more extensive view of our nation as it was and is developing. One such event is the Tulsa Race Massacre, in which we are upon the 100th anniversary. Look up Greenwood, Black Wall Street, or 1921 Race Massacre Commission to learn more about events and attitudes leading up to the devastation as well as the impact to the community and how Tulsa, Oklahoma was forever changed. Be curious, Read perspectives and Teach our students.




Washington State has passed a law making June 19th a legal state holiday. House Bill 1016 officially declares Juneteenth, also referred to as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day, a paid day off for state workers starting in 2022. This month, Juneteenth celebrations will once again commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S., and some will raise the official banner; Juneteenth "gives all Americans the opportunity to recognize American freedom and African-American history," according to the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation. The flag was first hoisted in 2000 at the Roxbury Heritage State Park in Boston, Massachusetts by the foundation’s founder Ben Haith, a community activist, who also created its design.

The meaning behind the Juneteenth Flag

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The Star - For one, it represents Texas, the Lone Star State. It was in Galveston in 1865 where Union soldiers informed the country's last remaining enslaved people that, under the Emancipation Proclamation issued two years earlier, they were free. But the star also goes beyond Texas, representing the freedom of African Americans in all 50 states.

The Burst - The bursting outline around the star is inspired by a nova, a term that astronomers use to mean a new star.

On the Juneteenth flag, this represents a new beginning for the African Americans of Galveston and throughout the land.

The Arc - The curve that extends across the width of the flag represents a new horizon: the opportunities and promise that lay ahead for black Americans.

The Colors - The red, white and blue represents the American flag, a reminder that slaves and their descendants were and are Americans.

June 19, 1865, represents the day that enslaved black people in Galveston, Texas, became Americans under the law.

Resources and local celebrations:


Juneteenth events to add to the Juneteenth article.


Museum of History and Industry – June 19th 2pm


Issaquah Highlands – Local Celebration



(3-5 grade): http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/celebrate-juneteenth-20547.html

(3-5 grade): Short video explaining Juneteenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHUfTdtDxiE&feature=youtu.be

(3-5 grade) Short video explaining Juneteenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU6qJMUqP_8

(K-5) Video about Juneteenth: https://www.capstonepub.com/juneteenth

Equity website: https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/family/equity



Short video explaining Juneteenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHUfTdtDxiE&feature=youtu.be

Short video explaining Juneteenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu6ntwHws5g

Short video explaining Juneteenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU6qJMUqP_8

Equity Website: https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/family/equity

High School:


Short video explaining Juneteenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHUfTdtDxiE&feature=youtu.be

Short video explaining Juneteenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu6ntwHws5g

Short video explaining Juneteenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU6qJMUqP_8

Equity Website: https://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/family/equity

Summer reading and viewing ideas to build cultural awareness

*This list is for staff only since some of the suggestions have language concerns and topics dealing with sex.

Summer reading and viewing ideas for cultural awareness

As summer approaches, some of you may be planning what TV shows to binge, books to read, podcasts to listen to on long trips or movies to watch (if you have not already watched them all 🙂). Here are some books, movies, podcasts and TV shows on the Equity departments summer lists.


Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune

Ayesha at Last


The Vanishing Half

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


In the Heights

White Tiger - fictional book based on the New York Times bestseller dealing with class structures in India.

Minari - Oscar nominated movie about a Korean-American family that moves to a small Arkansas farm.

The Debut - An older movie but still relevant. Filipino-American students navigating culture and his future plans as he approaches graduation

Raya and The Last Dragon (Movie to watch as a family) - Animated

TV Shows:

Padma Lakshmi - Taste The Nation (Hulu)

One Day at a Time (2017-2021) Netflix (Cuban heritage family)

Kim’s Convenience Store Netflix (Korean heritage family)

Fresh off the Boat ABC (Chinese heritage family)

Never Have I Ever (Indian heritage family) - (Netflix)

Black-ish (ABC)

Superstore (NBC) Diverse representation


Activism Bingo

As we begin to wrap up the 20-21 school year and you are making plans for the summer, see ideas below for how you can keep growing in your Equity and Diversity work this summer.
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Reminder of upcoming religions and cultural days:

End of May

May 26th - Vesak - (recently celebrated at the White House) Commemorated the Buddha's birthday, death, and enlightenment. Celebrated at the first full moon in the month of May.


  • 3- Corpus Christi - Catholic Christian

  • 9- St. Columba of Iona - Celtic Christian

  • 11- Sacred Heart of Jesus - Catholic Christian

  • 15- Saint Vladimir Day - Christian

  • 16- Guru Arjan martyrdom - Sikh

  • 19- New Church Day - Swedenborgian Christian

  • 20- Pentecost - Orthodox Christian

  • 21- World Humanist Day - Materialism

  • 22- First Nations Day - Canadian Native People & Litha - Yule * - Wicca/Neo Pagan Northern and Southern hemispheres

  • 24- Saint John the Baptist - Christian

  • 29- Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul - Christian
Religious holidays and celebrations calendar

This calendar provides dates pertaining to a diverse set of religious holidays and celebrations. This calendar also notes when students may be impacted academically, which can be a great resources when lesson planning.

Communicating with Linguistically Diverse Families

Approximately 5% of students in the ISD have families that have a preferred language of communication other than English. There were approximately 24 preferred languages of communication requested by families during the EVP process in August. Of the families with a different preferred language, Spanish is the most common preferred language at 40%, followed by Chinese (Mandarin or other) at 30%. Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Russian were the next most preferred languages of communication.

To ensure families have access to information regarding their students education, please review the tips and considerations document Lorna, Wenli, Ina and Francisca have put together. It provides information on a variety of ways to translate information as well as when information needs to be translated. *Check this resource out!

Insensitive or racially derogatory commonly used words and phrases

Lame, hysterical, moron, ghetto, gyp, and uppity are just a few words that perpetuate stereotypes or are racially insensitive given their historic origins. Some of the other words or phrases that anti-racists may reconsider using including Peanut Gallery, Grandfathered In, Sold Down the River, Long time no see and Eenie Meenie Miney Mo. How some words or phrases are used also matter since they are often racially coded with negative stereotypes and racial implications.

Given that many of these words are so ingrained in our language use, it may be a while before we can eliminate them from our vocabulary. Individuals must recognize the impact these words may have on others as part of inclusive and anti-racist behaviors. We must recognize the impact such words have on others in our community by educating ourselves and gaining an awareness and knowledge of the meaning of the words and phrases we commonly use. The choice of words may not have be intentionally used to cause harm, but harm will be caused. Intention does not matter, impact does.

By a deeper understanding of the origins of the terms, we can retrain our brain on using such insensitive and racially derogatory words and phrases. Education is the first step.

Resources for talking with students about racism, protests, social justice, trauma, and violent events

As educators, we need to be prepared to talk with students about crisis or events that happen in our schools, district, community, nation, and world. While these conversations are difficult, may create anxiety, or can leave us with no lived experience from which to draw, we must still forge forward and have the conversations.

In the event of a crisis, all of us feel the pressure of responding to events in real time, and doing so in a thoughtful and healing manner. Remember, the most important factor is not remaining silent. Our students do not expect perfection. Acknowledging that something has happened and listening are often all our students need.

In the event of a crisis, remember that you have been given training on how to handle these conversations. You have had professional development from Dr. Caprice Hollins and the Equity Department. You can access resources on the Equity Staff Hub page. Remember, the same approach in past crisis often applies to current crisis. There is no perfect script or lesson plan. Our students simply need you to show up, acknowledge what has happened, and listen. YOU are enough.

*Please see below for a myriad of resources we always have on hand to help support you in a myriad of situations pertaining to equity and diversity.

Culturally Responsive Strategies- Responding to trauma

Click on this link to see a list of culturally responsive strategies and approaches to use when responding to traumatic events or a crisis

Equity Staff Hub website

Equity has a Staff Hub website. Please go the website to look for helpful resources and materials. You can click on this document to take you to the site.

Equity Website

Did you know the district has an Equity website? It is accessible by clicking on the "Equity" tab on the front page of the district website or by clicking on this document. This site has helpful resources and is updated frequently. Check it out!

Diversity Staff Hub Website

The Equity department has a diversity and family partnerships site. This site is full of helpful resources and materials. You can click on this document to take you to the site.

Cultural and Family Partnership Website

The Cultural and Family Partnership Page has helpful resources for families around remote learning(English, Spanish and Chinese),New Families to ISD connection meeting dates and a List of Family Partnership events that support parents. Check it out!

Professional Development