In the process of researching and writing this article, I read The Atlantic’s article by Ibram X. Kendi, titled “The American Nightmare.” From 1896, the same year the Supreme Court decision, Plessy v Ferguson, legalized segregation, Kendi discusses a racial text, Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro. Its author, Frederick Hoffman, provided statistical charts and data that he used to conclude that the “gradual extinction is only a question of time” for Black people. This statistical book launched Hoffman’s career into the international and national spotlight as the “dean” of American statisticians and became the fulfillment of his “American dream” at the turn of the 20th century. However, this text perpetuated the American nightmare for the Black community. This notion of “letting black die” fueled the racist beliefs that shaped, and sadly continue to shape, American society and policy today.
In the wake of the unjust and unlawful killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and most recently, Rayshard Brooks, the Black Lives Matter protests aim to bring awareness, education, and more importantly long-lasting change and the end of systemic racism for Black Americans. To quote our CEO, Hardeep Gulati, “PowerSchool stands by our Black and African American colleagues, teachers, students, school districts, and communities in the fight against racism and inequality.” In doing our part to help, the PowerSchool Customer Education team compiled these resources to provide parents and teachers tools to expand their own awareness and understanding of systemic racism, racial inequality, and discrimination, and to the help facilitate conversations and teach children.
It’s not meant to be an exhaustive list and is focused on the impact of systemic racism on Black and African American people throughout the history of the United States. At PowerSchool, we recognize systemic racism and discrimination can impact other indigenous people and people of color in the United States and around the world. In the end, we hope the Black Lives Matters movement will benefit those people too. Finally, as an organization, we are committed to address diversity, inclusion, and equality among our workforce and in our approach to our customers’ and their needs.
We would love feedback about these resources or other resources you’ve used to increase your awareness, understanding, and involvement in the fight to dismantle systemic racism, racial inequality, and discrimination. Feel free to leave a comment here or contribute to separate discussion through our General Distance Learning Forum.
Teachers or Parents - Resources
Organizations with Resource Lists/Activities
Author: Cynthia Albrecht works as an instructional designer on the Customer Education team at PowerSchool. Cindy holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Colorado at Denver and CU at Boulder, respectively, and a professional concentration certificate in Website Design from University of California Davis Extension. She’s licensed to teach both social studies and English in secondary education classrooms in California and Colorado. She currently resides in Sacramento, California with her husband and two teenage daughters.
Excellent resources, Cynthia! Thanks for compiling and sharing. This will be helpful in our efforts to raise awareness about systemic racism within our school community.