Mandatory Anti Racism Classes For CSSD Administration

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MANDATORY ANTI RACISM CLASSES FOR CSSD ADMINISTRATION

Recent events with CSSD’s refusal to denounce Principal Anderson of St. Michael School’s hurtful and disgusting comments, and the suspension of students who brought this awful situation to light have shown us how deep CSSD is in rooted white supremacy and the lengths it will go to in order to deflect responsibility for harm doing.

In the words of George Lipsitz: “The problem with white people is not [their] whiteness, but [their] possessive investment in it. Created by politics, culture, and consciousness, [their] possessive investment in whiteness can be altered by those same processes, but only if [they] face the hard facts openly and honestly and admit that whiteness is a matter of interests as well as attitudes, that it has more to do with property than with pigment. Not all believers in white supremacy are white. All white people do not have to be white supremacists. But the possessive investment in whiteness is a matter of behavior as well as belief, it requires us to take action, not merely assert good intentions. (...) In the years ahead we will have ample opportunities to see what white people are made of, to see whether [they] can transcend [their] attachments to the mechanisms that give whiteness its force and power. We need to learn why our history has been built so consistently on racial exclusion and why we continue to generate new mechanisms to increase the value of past and present discrimination. How can we account for the ways in which white people refuse to acknowledge the possessive investment in whiteness even while working to increase its value every day?"

We, therefore, demand that Calgary Catholic School District prioritizes harm-reduction and anti-racism education. We demand real action to be undertaken towards these goals, immediately.

We demand that MANDATORY anti-racism training for all faculty be crafted and put forward rapidly. The results of these classes must then be put into classrooms to create a safe space of every student. The unlearning of racist behavior, ideology, folkways, and sentiments should not be the burden of BIPOC alone. Racism is first and foremost a white problem that needs to be addressed by white people, including within their most hallowed institutions.

As educators of the youth you have a moral obligation to educate our students on anti-racism as it is simply not enough to be ‘not racist’ Administrators and staff have countlessly gotten away with fostering an unsafe and racist environment for their students in their words and in their actions. CSSD must take action as to create a safe space for ALL students where hurtful comments like this can be avoided.

Taken from The Jesuit Post - Catholic 101: Church Teaching and the Anti-Racism Movement: The Catholic Church considers all forms of racism—including racist ideas, acts of racial discrimination, and systematic racism—to be evil. Racism is evil because it violates the fundamental dignity of the human person who is made in the image and likeness of God, and it denies the unityof the human family. Racism has been denounced by numerous popes, including most recently Pope Francis. The U.S. bishops have written that racist actions are gravely and intrinsically evil—meaning that there is no situation in which they are not evil and completely unjustifiable. In 1999, St. John Paul II called on the United States “to put an end to every form of racism” and echoed the U.S. bishops’ belief that racism is “one of the most persistent and destructive evils of the nation.”

We are calling for CSSD to take action NOW and to work, relentlessly, towards harm reduction and white divestment before it is, altogether, too late. We demand that the administration:

1. Acknowledge HOW this institution, overtly and covertly, perpetuates anti-Blackness and benefits from the possessive investment in whiteness and what is planned to identify and address this.
2. Clarify what percentage of its executive leadership and full-time faculty members are BIPOC, and what is planned in addressing and redressing the shortcomings.
3. Commit to actively understanding, addressing, dismantling, and combatting systemic racism, discrimination, and intolerance within the institution by introducing ongoing mandatory anti-racism courses for ALL ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL, AND FACULTY MEMBERS. 
4. Create an effective initiative where students can safely report racism on campus and they are provided with adequate protection and resources going forward. Furthermore, we suggest that faculty members condemn racism in their classrooms and inform students of relevant anti-racist resources.   

Thank you to MRU Racial Advocacy Group for leading in creating awareness to the fundamental problems with Calgary’s educational institutions.