“When my students begin to recognize the pervasiveness of racism in the culture and in our institutions, they begin to despair, feeling powerless to effect change… The antidote I have found is to focus on my own sphere of influence. I can’t fix everything, but some things are within my control.”
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum
In BRJE, we regard the creation of a glossary as a foundational practice for racial justice and equity work. Without it, individuals and teams don’t have a common language for what they believe and what they are trying to achieve.
BRJE has worked with Superintendent Bott to develop a working draft of a glossary for use in the Public Schools of Brookline. We would like to see this glossary used to inform conversation within and across schools and also in the PSB central office. We believe that you can take action by:
- Asking your school principal, PTO and website team to ensure that the glossary is accessible by all members of the school faculty and by the wider school community.
- Using the glossary to inform conversations in your school. Keep it available and present during meetings and use it to refocus discussions. For example, discussions about the erroneous concepts of “reverse racism” can be more effectively addressed if there is a shared definition of what racism is.
- Expanding the glossary in your school or your community. If there is an important concept around which you need to establish common understanding, add it to your glossary and use it during your meetings.