Black Lives Matter, Brown Silence Hurts

PRI Educational Consulting is committed to supporting Black educational leaders, teachers, and staff and collaborating with schools and educators to develop anti-racist curriculum and resources for the K-12 grades.  As I watch the news each day, I am sickened in my heart, mind, and body by the injustices directed towards the Black community.  Like millions of other Americans, I am pained and outraged by the deaths of Black people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others due to the systemic racism in our country.  With a grieving heart and a receptive mind, I stand with and support the Black community in the ongoing fight towards justice and towards that more perfect union outlined in the Preamble to the United States Constitution. Black lives matter. Through thoughtful and intentional curriculum design and coaching, marginalized students can be seen, heard, and guided to reach their full potential.

As a South Asian immigrant, I acknowledge that I benefit from the work of activists, predominantly Black but also White, who fought so bravely for centuries and still continue to fight for civil rights in critical areas including voting, housing, education, employment, and marriage.  The heroism of these activists positively impacted and benefitted all people of color in this country. My parents were able to immigrate to the United States in the early 1970s due to The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, legislation that came into fruition because of the civil rights movement. Because of the perpetuation of the model minority myth, I have been able to access what I needed to achieve my educational goals more easily.  My marriage in 1996 would have been considered illegal if not for the 1967 landmark civil rights decision Loving v. Virginia. In this decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws banning interracial marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As a South Asian immigrant, it might be a common reaction to be silent or to side with the oppressor during this time in our country. The model minority myth has, unfortunately, divided Asians and Blacks. It is vital to realize that oppression against one marginalized group is oppression against all of us. I work to understand the often hidden and complex history of our country so that I can better understand systemic racism, oppression, white supremacy, and anti-Black attitudes within communities of color and how they permeate our society and the education system. I deeply respect and am privileged to learn from Black colleagues, peers, writers, and experts who share a wealth of transformative knowledge. I continue to invest in my inner work to dismantle racism in my mindset and everyday actions. I am committed to approaching this work with an open heart and mind while providing coaching and support for our school leaders and teachers.

Some readings that have informed my thinking:

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and The Pathways to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resma Menakem

Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race by Derald Wing Sue

Brown Girl Magazine

Educator Resources:

The Storytelling Project and Curriculum 

NCTE Anti Racist Books for your Curriculum

ASCD How to Be an Antiracist Educator

Black Lives Matter at School (Curriculum and Resources)

Anti-Racist Alliance: A Web Based Curriculum on Whiteness

What Anti-racist Teachers Do Differently