A class of twelve employees of the City of Grand Haven, Grand Haven Area Public Schools, and Spring Lake Public Schools completed our 8-Week Racial Equity Institute from 3:00-5:00 from October 01 through November 26. The venue was provided by Grand Haven Area Public Schools.
The essence of the problem is not bias, it is the culmination and effect of bias in creating inequity.
The commitment to thoughtful reflection demonstrated in the Institute has given me time to pause and take stock of the racial condition in our community.
The Institute helped me to realize the day to day behaviors that have negative affects on others.
The facilitators created a safe place to discuss thoughts and ideas by setting comfortable norms and allowing for open conversations.
Even though this issue has been important to me for many years, any opportunity to dialogue grows my sensitivity.
The Institute allowed me to slow down my quick judgement of people based on appearance.
The research and factual information was current and compelling.
The Institute was a valuable part of my week to spend time reflecting on the issues surrounding racism.
The Institute was valuable and necessary - progress and change won't happen without these conversations.
I was not aware of the racist messages that we have all grown up with.
Participant Action Plans
I pledge to address internalized racism by self reflection and discussions with family, friends, and colleagues.
I pledge to address institutional racism by critically viewing processes and procedures that could potentially prohibit racial equity.
I pledge to address interpersonal racism by making myself more aware of stopping a thought that may creep into my mind when in an unknown area.
I pledge to address institutional racism by addressing issues that arise at school.
I pledge to address internalized racism by reading, staying informed, and questioning my own thoughts and behaviors.
I pledge to address interpersonal racism by creating activities and lessons in my classroom that break down barriers.
I pledge to address institutional racism by evaluating practices and attempt to eliminate bias in "gate keeper" situations.
I pledge to address interpersonal racism by speaking to people who have experienced it.