Michael Sekerak: Time to elevate those marginalized in our community | TheUnion.com

Michael Sekerak: Time to elevate those marginalized in our community

In light of the recent protests, we must make long-lasting and direct changes that critically challenge how we frame our community and our place in the nation’s history.

The letter below calls upon our local county public high schools to address problems concerning the diversity and cultural acceptance in our education system. We need more than a transient reaction from our schools. Through this petition, we provide a direct means for our local leaders to stand with black, indigenous, people of color (POC), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQIA+) individuals, and all other marginalized peoples in the Nevada County community and across the country.

We urge Nevada Joint Union High School District to implement policy changes to become intentionally anti-racist and inclusive of the many diverse communities who make up our past, present, and future in all aspects of this county’s educational infrastructure. In your June 9 statement, you made a commitment to “ensure equitable outcomes for all students.” This can be achieved through a number of direct actions:

(1) Redefine the district’s mission, values, and student conduct codes to directly reflect anti-racist and inclusive positions.

(2) Expand the body of anti-racism, racial justice, cultural diversity, and inclusivity literature assigned in the social sciences and humanities curricula.

(3) Create identity-based affinity groups (Black Student Union, Asian Student Alliance, Queer and Questioning Groups, etc.) as a brave space for students to explore their identities.

(4) Re-evaluate the hiring process of administrators, faculty, and staff.

(5) Increase training on implicit bias, equity, inclusion, and restorative justice systems.

(6) Invite diverse speakers and take students on field trips that directly address matters of racial justice, inclusivity, and white privilege in the NJUHSD student body.

If you support this proposal, please sign the petition.

It is time we work together to elevate the voices of our marginalized community It is time we work to educate ourselves and our future generations to stand up against injustices. In order for this to happen we must first address the gaps in our local education system. How can you discuss systemic issues if you are never given the vocabulary to do so? How can you discuss systemic issues if you are never given the opportunity to do so?

Our education system should have provided us with the tools we needed to critically challenge the systems we have in place. And it did not.

Michael Sekerak graduated from Nevada Union High School, Class of 2013.

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