SEEN Weekly Update – How Can You Get Involved?

Dear SEEN Community,

We are still seeing the reverberating impact from the Demystifying Critical Race Theory forum from last week. Programs like this help call more people into this work and we couldn’t do it without you!

Thank you to everyone who helped support this program – our co-organizers (MLK Saratoga, Skidmore’s Black Studies Program, and SUNY Empire’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), panelists (Dr. Renata Williams, Dr. Winston Grady-Willis, Dr. A. Tina Wagle, and Dr. Anthony Paul Farley), and participants. We are already hard at work planning the next session, to take place in November, which will be focusing on how CRT can inform culturally-responsive, anti-racist, and inclusive teaching.

With news coverage previously in the Gazette and now on WAMC, we can see the impact continuing to spread across our community! If you missed the forum, this is a great summary! We also have a set of notes that will become available on our website once finalized and emailed to all registrants.


Actions

  • GET MORE INVOLVED WITH SEEN!
    • Rock the Vote. SEEN is looking to participate in Saratoga BLM’s Rock the Vote event on Saturday, October 23rd, and are looking for SEEN members who may be interested in tabling. Please send an email to the SEEN account if you are able to participate.
    • Trunk or Treat. SEEN, MLK Saratoga, and Saratoga BLM are collaborating to host a Trunk or Treat event at the Dyer Phelps A.M.E. Zion Church on Crescent St on Halloween, Sunday, October 31st, from Noon to 3 p.m. We are looking for a few people to commit to attending, decorating their trunks, and distributing candy. Ready to hand out treats? Reach out via email.
    • SSCSD Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. During the 2020-2021 school year, the district formed the District Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. The committee supports the district’s Pathways Vision and ongoing work in creating a more equitable, inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment for all students, staff, and community members. This work is aligned with the NYS Board of Regents Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework, and the committee has been engaged in conversation and supports action plans to recommend policies designed to promote diversity, facilitate growth in becoming a culturally competent school community, and improve access, opportunity, and outcomes for all students. The district is seeking four additional parents/community members to join the committee. Parents and community members are required to be residents of the school district. If you are interested in serving on the committee, please fill out the SSCSD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Interest Form by October 29. 

Calendar

  • DEIC. SSCSD’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will have its first meeting of the school year on Tuesday, October 19 at 5 p.m. The monthly virtual meeting will be held via WebEx and can be viewed by all community members. The WebEx link for each meeting may be found on the district website calendar.
  • Ellison. What does it mean to be an American? What are our responsibilities to our community and to each other? Community conversation and creative expression go hand-in-hand in these workshops through the lens of Ralph Ellison’s writings. The third meeting of our reading-discussion-art-making group, “American Politics and Community Today: Saratoga Springs,” will meet on Monday, October 25th at 5 p.m. at C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios (70 Beekman Street). This meeting will center around his 1970 essay, “What America Would Be Like Without Blacks,” which was published in Time magazine. But that said, the workshops are structured for anyone to participate in the discussion and art-making regardless of completion of the readings. There is no “community today” without you. Join us on Facebook at “Ellison Saratoga” for regular updates.
  • Board of Education Workshop. The SSCSD Board of Education is having a workshop on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on Tuesday, October 26th from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Project Based Learning Center at the High School. The workshop will review the district’s past, present, and future DEI efforts. It will also include participation by Anna Munoz, from Generation Ready, who has been working with the district on professional development. This will be open to the public – attending is a great way to show your support and learn more about the district’s DEI work!

Resources

  • “Not the Last of the Mohicans.” The Clark Art Institute is hosting a virtual event tomorrow, October 16th at 2 p.m. When James Fenimore Cooper wrote The Last of the Mohicans he created a narrative that has lasted centuries. But it was a false narrative. The Mohican Nation is alive and well today with a rich history that spans before colonization – the land that today we call Williamstown is part of their ancestral homelands. Register here to join Heather Bruegl, Director of Education at Forge Project, to learn about the Stockbridge-Munsee Community today and how they are definitely not the last of the Mohicans.
  • The Legacy and Teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Have you been noticing people using Dr. King’s words in a manner that he never intended? This essay in The Atlantic, “The Second Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.,” by Ibram X. Kendi, explores how Dr. King’s teachings have been distorted by those opposed to anti-racism and the teaching of accurate history in our schools.

~ The SEEN Team

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