MLC: Commitment to Racial Equity

9/24/20

Commitment to Racial Equity

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As a school staff, we're committed to a better understanding of the role race plays in our individual lives, as well as the lives of MLC students, families, the greater Portland community, and the nation as a whole. One of the tools we'll be using this year is the Courageous Conversations About Race (CCAR) Protocol. It's a tool that is used nationally in many different organizations to help facilitate and support conversations about race. We wanted to make sure all of the MLC community is familiar with it, even though it isn't new to PPS.


A fundamental characteristic within the PPS Graduate Portrait is our charge to create Transformative Racial Equity Leaders. The Graduate Portrait outlines success in this area with:


"As racial equity leaders, students take part in making our society more just and equitable for people of color. They understand how our communities have been impacted by racial injustice, and they can recognize and interrupt the conditions that enable it. They develop agency and advocacy skills to challenge injustice and change oppressive systems in their communities. They understand that the dominant historical narrative can minimize the perspectives of people of color and contribute to institutional racism. They can deconstruct the dominant narrative and change it to a more balanced and inclusive one. Students respect the perspectives of all cultures. As racial equity-driven problem solvers, they engage in community conversations about social justice issues and help develop and implement solutions that respect and include the perspectives of other cultures."


As leaders for racial equity at MLC we will continue our work with the PPS Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) framework among staff and with students. This encourages common protocols and shared understanding of racial equity work throughout our school. Some of the tools we will use this year will include the CCAR protocols. As we come together as one school community we want to share information on the following tools to support staff, students and families as we actively work to dismantle racism.


For today, we want to briefly introduce the three main components of the Protocol: the Four Agreements, the Compass, and the Six Conditions.


Four Agreements: The Four Agreements are commitments participants make when having conversations about race. Conversations about race can be challenging and the Four Agreements help keep participants in the conversation, which is intended to be an ongoing process.


Compass: The Compass is a tool to help individuals identify how they're entering or responding to a conversation about race and creates a common language for participants to share with others how they're responding. It's also a tool to help participants make sure they're centered on the Compass when considering how to move forward so they're making space for thinking and feeling, and work to align actions with beliefs. There's no straight line on this one, but the Compass can be a very useful tool.


Six Conditions: The Six Conditions are useful guidelines when having conversations about race. They are intentionally set up to start with an individual's personal experience moving toward more systemic factors that impact a person's racial experience. All of the Conditions are connected, but it helps to break them out to raise awareness of how race is impacting people and/or situations.

Contact Info

Mark Van Hoomissen
Principal
mvanhoom@pps.net
School phone: 503-916-5737
Cell phone: 503-577-7126