Yes, because diversity has unlimited benefits throughout American society. No, because I have concern about whether this grant funding would be sent to districts that are predominantly white to promote diversity. It is not the black populations responsibility or obligation to now step into white populations. It’s often put on black Americans shoulders as if they are responsible for including themselves. It’s time white Americans put forth the effort and step outside of their comfort zone. Asking the black population to do the work is wrong. THAT is what needs to end.
Each district receives funding as it is. It would, then, perhaps be more economically and socially responsible to ensure that the funds received are not discouraging diversity and are inclusive and considerate of all races. Until we know where we stand, we can’t appropriately and responsibly make decisions like this. It’s not too far off to say that we absolutely have not evaluated districts’ position on diversity and how that plays into NOT ONLY inclusion, but into educating white Americans about different races in a way that accurately represents them as well. A school district doesn’t have to be diverse to enact change that allows room for greater understanding of our fellow Americans and racial differences. Nor should the number of non-white students in any district prevent the district from initiating such changes. A black person doesn’t have to be in the room for us to deem them relevant. Offering grants to simply “address” and create a “plan” to close gaps between racial differences may not be necessarily relevant. Black communities are not “extra”. While some communities certainly need “extra” to address the gaps that already exist. It’s important to ensure that the funds that are currently provided to districts is being used to support the students that are enrolled today. A districts’ budget SHOULD ALREADY be inclusive of black students and education of black history, culture, etc. in the first place and it cannot be stressed enough - it NEEDS to be. All it takes a thought into the content we provide students with. Including, but not limited to, how the context is discussed and further perceived, why it contributes to racism, and how to lessen the gap to contribute to a meaningful impact. This “extra” effort can easily be revoked in the future and the students who were afforded equal opportunity would no longer be offered the same education. It continues to leave minority populations in a vulnerable place and doesn’t necessarily fix the issue at hand. While it can impact the discussion, when does the discussion end and turn into action? We’ve been discussing this topic. We are finally growing into a “ah ha” moment. It is discriminatory, at this point, to NOT be making a conscious and continuous effort to end the racial differences and close those gaps. It is not choosing to discriminate, it’s choosing to not be. How that is acceptable is beyond my comprehension.
Overall, I feel the better option would be to evaluate where we stand with each individual school district and each budget therein to ensure those districts are funded to the extent they need and with ALL students considered. And, THEN further ensuring the changes are included in the annual budget for the district, moving forward and in every possible gap. The extra effort should be switched to original intent. For example, better representation of black literature in K-12 schools as it is entirely nonexistant in some, or few and far between for many that are predominantly white. This is true for even predominantly black communities. If a public school budget includes public school libraries, the budget also includes purchasing books and materials to be used in relevant classroom learning. For many, it is not even to the point of being relevant. For the districts whose library content does lack black authors, or whose text book and learning material does fail to highlight and celebrate black history, culture, etc., we need to be focusing on evaluating and including that into our consideration in the decisions the district makes from the beginning. Rather than sticking with what’s familiar to the lesson plans. It could be as simple as a routine board meeting for some districts. A district can’t possibly know that until they evaluate and draw conclusions from their assessments. So to say that it’s necessary prior to doing so seems rushed and rather irresponsible. Not sure if that makes sense, hopefully it does. If we continue to go “oh yes we need more material on black history” vs “we need to represent both races equally” Its a 50-50 vote for me, to be honest.