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Black lives matter


June 9, 2020 Jonathan Teghtmeyer, ATA News Editor-in-Chief


I stand in solidarity with those fighting for justice and equality. Today, I am using my privilege to amplify some voices of people of colour.

Ahmed Ali, @MrAhmednurAli 
It’s a privilege to learn about racism  instead of experiencing it your whole life. 

MissK, @AliyaKrall
Black teachers matter. ALL my kids are learning about the importance of equality and dismantling systems of oppression. ALL kids are seeing me in a leadership role. That matters.

Dwayne Reed, @TeachMrReed 
Teachers are like flight attendants. When turbulence occurs, our students are looking at our demeanor, what we say and what we do, to inform how they should respond. The world is real rocky right now — what are you showing your students?  

Christopher Usih, @UsihChristopher 
Perhaps this is a watershed moment for public education. When the values we espouse are put to the test, let it be said that we rose to the occasion without equivocation. The nation’s children pass through our classrooms. What a golden opportunity! Let’s seize the moment.  

Muna Saleh, @DrMunaSaleh 
Sending so much love and light to everyone in pain right now. And recommitting to living and working and teaching in anti-racist (not just “not racist”) ways. 

Magaly, @magalyherrera 
My career choice is no accident. I am entering a workspace where 80 per cent of educators are white. We NEED more black men and women and people of colour in education. We need more diversity. Anti-racism starts at home but HAS to be amplified in the classroom.   

Barry White Jr, @thatsbwhite 
For every George, Breonna, Ahmaud, Mike, Tamir, Trayvon, Eric, Oscar, Sandra, Walter, Terrance, etc. I have taught, am teaching and will teach in the future, your life matters inside and outside the classroom! 

Zain Velji, @zainvelji 
Kids see colour. Kids see race. From the time they are six months of age, kids perceive race. By the time they are two years of age, kids can start showing a preference for playmates of the same race. Race becomes a problem when we don’t talk about it with kids.  

Ahmed Hussen, @HonAhmedHussen 
Anti-black racism does not stop at the border. I have heard from people who have said that we should not worry about what is happening in the U.S. because that is not our problem. As a black man and a father of three young boys, I can tell you it is a lived reality for black Canadians. 

Kaycee Madu, @KayceeMaduYEG 
I’ve been watching clips of the protests with my children. What we’re seeing is the culmination of decades of legitimate pain and frustration. From youth to adulthood, black people continue to be subject to terrible abuses, including from bad actors in police forces ...We have much further to go, but we have to get there together. This means recommitting ourselves to ending racism against black people once and for all. As Martin Luther King said, “we may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”  

David Shepherd, @DShepYEG 
This is not something that only happens elsewhere or across the border. It’s something that has a long history in Alberta and continues today. We’ve seen highly public stories in the last few years. We’re making progress, we’re improving, but there’s still work to do ... I commit as an elected official, a black man and a human being to continuing to listen, learn and demand better from myself, from our communities and from the systems that govern our lives. We only get a better world by fighting and working for it.  

shea martin, @sheathescholar 
Grades don’t matter. Cops don’t check our GPA before they kill us (and even if they did, it wouldn’t matter). It’s time for teachers to stop treating good grades like bulletproof armor for black kids. 

Dwayne Reed, @TeachMrReed 
If you teach black kids, it is your responsibility to spark conversations with them (and your colleagues) about race. If you don’t teach black kids, it is your responsibility to spark conversations with your students (and your colleagues) about race. Discomfort is no excuse. 

Raj Bhardwaj, @RajBhardwajMD 
Please care for each other. If you can, use your privilege: don’t silently stand by when you witness racism and injustice. ❚

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