Educational Equity in Brookline

EquitySlideshow

The Public Schools of Brookline are committed to identifying and eliminating barriers to educational achievement in our schools. To this end, we create policies and practices that are fair and just and provide educational opportunities to ensure that every student, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, disability, or economic status, meets our standards for achievement, participation, and growth.

Launching Educator Affinity Groups at PSB!

This January, we are excited to announce the launch of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and Anti-racist white affinity spaces dedicated to bonding, healing, and finding joy within our workplace.


What is an affinity group?

Affinity groups are spaces where individuals who share a common identity can come together for collaboration and support. These commonalities are typically aspects that are unchangeable components of identity, such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexuality, language, ability status, family structure, etc. Affinity groups are most often useful for identities that have been historically silenced or marginalized, as historic (and contemporary) oppression can result in feelings of isolation in typical workplace and educational environments. School-based affinity groups are often designated as “safe spaces” for folks to share how the affinity identity impacts their role in the educational setting and work toward some common mission or goal along those lines. The absence of individuals who identify differently often creates this sense of safety for group members.

December 2022 Diversity Calendar

12/1 World AIDS Day: This day helps raise awareness for HIV/AIDs. Hold a fundraiser in your office to help fight the HIV epidemic and raise money to find a cure. You can also pass out red ribbons. These are the universal symbol of support for those living with HIV/AIDs.


12/3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities: All people, regardless of ability, deserve to be treated with dignity and given rights. The United Nations created the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 1992 to help people with disabilities participate without any barriers.


12/10International Human Rights Day (United Nations): The UN established International Human Rights Day in 1948 following World War II. It uses the United States’ Bill of Rights as a model. To observe this December diversity day, you can read the full Universal Declaration of Human Rights online.


12/16 - 12/24 Las Posadas: The religious festival of Las Posadas is primarily celebrated in Latin American countries, Mexico, and Spain. Some Hispanics in the United States also celebrate this festival. The festival is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph traveling to various homes in the community that are designated as “inns.” After the reenactment, there is a celebration.


12/18 - 12/26 Hanukkah: This is an 8-day, 8-night celebration in the Jewish faith honoring the triumph of their ancestors over the Syrian Greeks. To see the “Festival of Lights” observed, ask to join in a night of celebrations with a Jewish friend’s family.


12/26 Kwanzaa: Kwanzaa is an 8-day celebration of life that is inspired by the African harvest celebrations. The holiday was created by an American professor of African studies, activist, and author, Maulana Karenga. It has been celebrated since the 1960s.


What is Critical Race Theory?

There is a lot of confusion in education over "teaching" critical race theory. It is important to understand there is no critical race theory curriculum; it is more a set of tenets that encourages the reflection of how race in particular intersects with history and social justice and naming the impact racism has had on various populations. CRT is an analytical framework and process. It is not a curriculum for PreK-12 and we do not teach critical race theory in Brookline. We do, however, hold fast to our philosophy of teaching students how to critically examine everything they read and hear, be knowledgeable about details to be able to participate fully in discussions, be active listeners, and to be tolerant of multiple perspectives.

This recent position statement from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents may also provide more information and context.

The following resources may be helpful for families who want to learn more:

Announcements ~ Events You Don't Want To Miss

Race Reels on Thursday night! 1.5.23! -

Office of Educational Equity
Public Schools of Brookline
333 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Brookline, MA 02445

Contact:
Jenee Uttaro
Senior Director of Educational Equity
Phone: 617-730-2404

Email: jenee_uttaro@psbma.org

Haeyoung Koh
Assistant Director of Educational Equity
Phone: 617-730-2417

Email: haeyoung_koh@psbma.org