Mandate that ANTI-RACISM courses be compulsory in all three levels of education!
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When the protests are over, there will still be many battles left to fight. The reality of the situation is that this is not a game. Racism is not something you can pick and choose when to be against. Likewise, one does not get to pick and choose when they experience racism. That is why this is call to action is being started. If you are ready to take steps towards making actionable change, I strongly encourage you to read further.
As a BLACK MAN myself, I can tell you that we're fighting for George and SO MUCH MORE. We not only fight for George Floyd, but for all black lives, including black women's lives, black queer/trans lives, black homeless lives, and black incarcerated lives. In order to appreciate and understand the systemic oppression that black people face, it is important that ONE stays informed and continue educating and re-educating oneself.
That brings me to why I ultimately decided to start this petition in the first place. I have been seeing petitions to have compulsory anti-racism courses taught at the University level, and while I do think that is great, I strongly believe that energy could be better spent calling for a quick and comprehensive revitalization of the current elementary, secondary, and post secondary curricula to include compulsory ANTI-RACISM courses.
The purpose of the rest of this petition is to confer my thoughts as to why ANTI-RACISM courses should be incorporated into the curriculum at all three levels. I am a firm believer in the fact that the only feasible way to stay informed, and have an exhaustive understanding of the types of systemic racism that exist. Between protesting and navigating how I would use my voice in person and on social media, I've come to the realization that re-education MUST begin at a young age. In simple terms, there is over 400 years worth of unlearning that we have to engage in - in order to begin our goal of ultimate racial reconciliation and obtaining justice.
In order to gain mastery at something, there should be something constant, consistent and targeted in its approach to reinforcing resources required to unlearn over 400 years of systemic oppression. In order to make meaningful change, conscious and unconscious biases, misinformation, have to be wiped away and I fully recognize that this will not happen overnight.
Then the larger question remains, how do we capture the traction that was gained to make sure that the anti-racist allyship wave serves as tool for racial reconciliation?
I would like to address this petition to the Honourable Ross Romano. The first step towards addressing conscious and unconscious biases is to learn, and re-learn! I have been thinking about how said courses would work. I am by no means an expert in curriculum development BUT I do know that the implementation of compulsory ANTI-RACISM education at all the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels would ultimately change our nature of our current culture and encourage and promote diversity.
While drafting this petition, I stumbled across a viewpoint of Dr. Alexandra Solomon and I wanted to echo those sentiments here: "THE NATURE OF OUR CULTURE IS THAT WE TAKE DIFFERENCES AND TURN THEM INTO HIERARCHIES. SO "DIVERSITY" IS REALLY A SYSTEM OF INTERSECTING ARENAS OF PRIVILEGE AND MARGINALIZATION." Imagine having the wind at your back - that's privilege. Having the wind at your face is marginalization. BLACK MEN AND WOMEN didn't ask for the position we occupy, and the layers of injustice we have experienced and still continue to face. THAT IS WHY I AM ASKING people in the arena of privilege to LISTEN, EMPATHIZE, VALIDATE, and BEAR WITNESS. I strongly believe that ANTI-RACISM courses at all levels of education would foster an environment that would allow our culture to choose WE over ME and responsibilities over rights.
Implementing ANTI-RACISM courses would be designed with aim of teaching those in the arena of privilege not to play devil's advocate, but instead, to forge a MUCH deeper sense of care, humanity and compassion. One never truly arrives as an ally, rather, one must continually practice allyship and the ANTI-RACISM courses being implemented would be a GREAT way to continue the practice of allyship.
I hope that after reading all of this, you BELIEVE in the importance of having compulsory ANTI-RACISM education being implemented in the elementary, secondary and post-secondary sectors.
With that, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to sign the petition that I have started.
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