National Black Lives Matter Week of Action at Lafayette

Dear Lafayette Families,

We would like to take this opportunity to share that DC Public Schools will be participating in the National Black Lives Matter Week of Action during the week of February 4-8th, 2019. This movement takes place in cities across the U.S., with the goal to spark an ongoing movement of critical reflection and honest conversations in school communities for people of all ages to engage with critical issues of social justice. As a group dedicated to principles of social justice and equity for all of our children, we are proud to participate in this week of reflection, solidarity and action.

As a school community, we believe that our school is a place for building equity, understanding, and for the active engagement in creating pathways to freedom and justice for all people. As partners in education, we invite our staff and families to come together during this week to affirm the lives of our Black students and students of color and to understand how doing so can serve to strengthen our community.

We anticipate that this event will be a peaceful, powerful week of dialogue, empathy and thoughtful reflection among our staff, within our classrooms, and with each other. Racial equity will not happen if people are not willing to talk about race—and this week is a first step.

What will happen during the BLM Week of Action?
We are planning specific activities for each day, around the themes in this poster. Teachers may design lessons, facilitate conversations with students and among colleagues about race and/or the Black Lives Matter movement, and/or wear t-shirts and stickers that make their support visible. We encourage our staff to use the resources that will be provided as starting points, and as always, to use the relationships they have with their students to share powerful, thoughtful, engaging and respectful dialogues in classrooms across all grade levels.

Don’t all lives matter?
Yes. All lives have inherent worth. But by almost every measure, the lives of people of color are not treated equally by our society. Saying Black Lives Matter does not mean that brown, white or “blue” (police) lives do not matter. Rather, saying Black Lives Matter recognizes an important context that involves several centuries of slavery and denial of civil rights to black citizens, the impacts of which continue to this day. Participating in Black Lives Matter at School highlights the value of Black lives because historically, that value has been ignored.

We value your family as our partner in education. We encourage you to keep the lines of communication open with your child’s teachers and with our school community to find out about how your child’s class will be participating in Black Lives Matter at School, and how you can support our efforts.

You can learn more about Black Lives Matter at School by visiting the website. Please note that t-shirts to support the movement can be purchased through the website. During the week students, staff, and parents can wear the BLM t-shirt or plain black t-shirt to show their support.

We want our students to know that our school is a supportive, loving space for all students to learn and thrive. By recognizing the current inequities based on race, we commit to the ongoing responsibility of working together for equity and justice for all.

Thank you for your support building a school culture in which diversity and inclusion is deeply valued. Thank for your willingness to engage in courageous conversations and acts that support our commitment to equity in education for all students!

With much respect,
Lafayette Elementary School’s Black Lives Matter Committee

Linda Ryden
Rashida Mosby
Sophia Carre’
Ashlee Adams
Jillian Diesner
David Gregal
Nancy Nickel
Liz Ritchie
Jared Catapano
Tanya Covington
Jonathan Coor
Jessica Campbell
Sequins Gooding
Laurie McLaughlin
Ashley Swartz

CC: Carrie Broquard, Principal