Special Edition Member Newsletter
Now more than ever, our vigilance is imperative
June 4, 2020
Like many of you, I am deeply disturbed by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. I continue to be troubled, and unfortunately not surprised, by the numerous instances of injustices throughout the United States of America. The protests that have taken place in so many cities are what happens when people become frustrated and begin to lose hope as a result of not being heard. In order for all lives to matter, and especially Black Lives, serious systemic changes need to occur. These systemic changes must occur in virtually all sectors, including, but not limited to, education, the criminal justice system, law enforcement, business, healthcare and politics.  

While these killings are disheartening, they also are an all too frequent reminder of the critical importance of the role of education, both formal and informal, in disrupting the thought patterns that lead to the status quo in this country. The status quo is unacceptable and gradual change is not enough to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter. As those who work with and for students on a daily basis, we must ensure that Critical Race Theory is included, as we seek to support the examination of race throughout every educational environment. We cannot afford to continue to produce the adults that lead to an unjust society. Experiences of a person influence their beliefs and beliefs influence behaviors which create results. As educators, we have the opportunity to create educational experiences that contribute to the beliefs and mindset of our students who eventually become the adults in our society. 

Every educator needs to approach every day with a racial consciousness. Schools must take intentional steps to engage students in examining the impacts of race. Anyone who is uncomfortable or upset by the recent killings or the subsequent civil unrest must self-assess and ask, “Do I wake up each day with the intent to take explicit action to disrupt racism in my most immediate local circumstances and throughout the United States?” This type of extreme racial consciousness is needed to counteract the pervasive of racism in this country.  
CAAASA provides educators and educational partners a network to have thoughtful discussions about what is needed to support students who are negative racial mindsets and beliefs. In order to create a society that is better for our students, all educators, not just educators of color, need to be in continuous discussions about race. Besides CAAASA, other educational partners, such as, the California Association of Latino School Administrators (CALSA), and California Latino School Boards Association (CLSBA) provide excellent venues to engage in discussions about supporting students of color.

I ask all educators to consider the type of adults they are producing, and ask themselves whether these adults will be complicit in producing a racially just or an unjust society. We must work with an eye toward creating a more civil society. We cannot afford to be silent.

Cordially,
Daryl F. Camp, Ed.D. 
President, CAAASA 
Superintendent, San Lorenzo Unified School District   
Education Leaders across California Speak Out About Systemic Inequities and Current Crises Facing Young People.
It has been difficult for me to make sense of how a man can beg and plead for his life and still have his life snuffed out. It has been hard for me, as a black man, who every day thinks about the impact of race. It has been difficult for me, as a parent raising African American children, to know what to say, how to answer their questions when they ask me, ‘Dad, why did this happen?’ And to know that I have to confront my own vulnerability: that when they ask me, ‘could this happen to them?’ that I might not be able to keep them safe. … We know that bias exists in every sector of society. Now is our time to speak, and to address racism and implicit bias in education.”

Tony Thurmond, California Superintendent of Public Instruction,
in a statement on June 1, 2020.
“Educators. This is a teachable moment. Don’t be afraid to teach about the meaning of justice and the murder of George Floyd by the police. Our students are watching.”

Pedro Noguera, who directs the Center for the Transformation of Schools at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, in a Tweet on June 1, 2020.
“My hope rests with all of our children, and their capacity to move past the divisions, racism, bigotry and othering that have marked our country since long before its founding. I share their vision and belief in a just world where every person, of every race, belongs and is honored and celebrated.”

Kyla Johnson-Trammell, superintendent of Oakland Unified, in a statement on May 30, 2020.
The California Legislative Black Caucus offered sobering words for Californians on Tuesday during a press conference, but also the hope of change for the future.
"When you have spent the vast majority of three decades struggling for equality and justice and trying to explain the life of African Americans to this nation it becomes painful to continue the conversation, said Assemblymember Shirley Weber.

She explained that she has spent her last eight years working on behalf of her community, “trying to explain to my colleagues that there is a reality that they do not understand that they would like to refuse to see and to be a part of.”
Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. (D-San Diego), Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus
She noted her experience watching Watts in 1965 and the legacy of police brutality and said, “every incident brings me back to the same spot where we’re still mistreated, still disrespected and the issue is still is always taking a way from the real issue in this nation.”

“The issue we face in this country is the direct result of the enslavement, the continued mistreatment, the lynching and the attempts at genocide of Blacks,” Weber said. “This country has taught itself to hate African Americans. The death of George Floyd is a brutal illustration that we have not come to terms with that.”

Weber noted that focus on injustice is actually short-lived.

“There have been repeated uprisings – each as a result of the police brutality over the years – but that the outrage at the brutality of the taking of an innocent life is soon drowned out by outrage over the destruction of property,” Weber said. “Nobody condones looting or rioting. But what is often lost is that a Black man is dead, and we have not addressed how to stop that from happening.

“Our job as Black lawmakers is to be vigilant and persistent,” she said.
Black Lives Matter
The senseless and tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody is the latest of countless acts of violence against communities of color by law enforcement in the United States and another dark chapter in the sad history of American inequity.

These are times of great pain and grief for Los Angeles and our country as we respond to the injustices that have long haunted our nation. The Latino Theater Company is committed to tell the stories of our community, to serve the underserved and the marginalized, to give voice to the voiceless, and provide hope for a better and more just tomorrow by exorcising our suffering through the power of theater. We are consumed by rage and sadness. As we mourn another tragic loss of life, we must push for justice, change and discover hope for a better and united future. Black Lives Matter.

In solidarity,
Message from Superintendent Austin Beutner - June 1, 2020
APAPA Stands in Solidarity with the African American Community
Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA) is a non-profit and non-partisan organization with a diverse membership representing all communities throughout our nation. We support and advocate civil rights for all Americans, and we speak up and denounce hate crimes, verbal abuse, and racial injustices against all of our fellow citizens.

We are outraged by the wrongful slaying of a black man at the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis. We stand in solidarity with fellow Americans in expressing our anger over the apparent execution of a fellow human being in front of our eyes. We demand that justice be served and that the entire criminal system be reexamined and made fair and equitable to all.

“I can’t breathe” has become the mantra for African Americans protesting police brutality ever since Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black grandfather, died from a prohibited chokehold by a New York City police officer on July 17, 2014.

Fast forward to Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. A 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, was arrested after officers were called to investigate his alleged passing of a $20 forged bill at a Minneapolis corner store. After the police arrived, Floyd was handcuffed and pinned on the ground with a policeman pressing his knee on his neck. Floyd pleaded repeatedly “I can’t breathe” but the police officer ignored his pleas for mercy and kept the knee pressed on his neck. Like Garner, Floyd died from suffocation when the ambulance finally arrived after about 9 minutes.

While police abuse and violence have the potential to harm anyone, according to Washington Post, black people are 2.5 times more likely to die at the hands of the police as compared with whites. There are reasons to believe the statistics may be even higher because of the blue wall of silence, which is the informal rule among police officers not to report on a colleague's errors, misconducts, or crimes. However, in Floyd's case, several passersby have used their cellphones to record irrefutable evidence of police culpability.

As a result, several days of demonstration and riots protesting police brutality have broken out in many cities across the U.S. All of the four police officers involved were fired and the main culprit has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The National Guard has been called out to restore peace and order in Minneapolis and other cities as videos of the incident go viral around the world.

APAPA laments the state of divisiveness in our country as fellow citizens are encouraged by some to be more tribal and more intolerant of each other. Our entire criminal justice system is on trial and we believe that racial Injustice must not be allowed to continue. #BlackLivesMatter. APAPA does not condone rioting and willful destruction of properties, but will continue to advocate civil rights through peaceful demonstrations including civil disobedience if necessary until equal justice is applied for George Floyd and every one of our fellow citizens.
National Action Network and Al Sharpton
Demand Justice for George Floyd
Reverend Al Sharpton traveled to Minneapolis this week to demand justice for George Floyd, the unarmed Black man who was killed by a Minneapolis Police Officer who pinned Mr. Floyd’s neck with his knee for nine minutes.

On Thursday, Reverend Sharpton joined Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, at a rally at the location where Mr. Floyd was killed and called for swift accountability for the officers involved in the killing. In the wake of riots and looting, Reverend Sharpton called for calm but noted that the pain and anger is real.

“We understand the anger,” Reverend Sharpton said on MSNBC. “However the anger should not be exploited in the wrong way.”

While in Minneapolis, Reverend Sharpton met with community leaders and activists at World Outreach for Christ Church on strategy and spoke to the Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison and pressed for the arrest of all four officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death.

“In the case of Eric Garner, it took us five years to get him fired. If they had prosecuted that officer, maybe Floyd would be alive today.”
Reverend Sharpton also discussed next steps for how the arrests and eventual prosecution of the officers involved could be carried out. “You do not need anything more than you have now to arrest those four police officers,” he said. “There is probable cause right now.”
On Saturday, Rev. Sharpton and the National Action Network will call together people from across the country to be part of the “We Can’t Breathe” movement. Stay tuned for more updates, as NAN continues to rally until we get justice.
UCLA ‘troubled’ by police using stadium as ‘field jail’
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Members of LAPD Take A Knee for George Floyd at Protest Organized by Black Pastors
Hundreds gathered at police headquarters in the latest round of protests demanding justice in the death of George Floyd in the hands of police. The rally was organized by the Baptist Ministers Conference of Southern California, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Los Angeles, the L.A. chapter of the National Action Network, and L.A. Churches in Action.
Mourning and Mayhem: California Legislators
React to the Brutal Killing of George Floyd
By Tanu Henry |
California Black Media
Protestors and pastors across California as well as angered citizens and politicians — including Gov. Gavin Newsom — have all responded to the violent death of an unarmed Black man in Minnesota.
A conversation with President Obama: Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence
ACSA will host "Systemic Racial Intolerance and Injustice" Town Hall 
The blatant disregard for life seen in the murder of Mr. George Floyd and the national response to the injustice suffered by him and many others before him have galvanized Americans throughout the country to protest and show solidarity with all those who long for an inclusive society that does not tolerate racist actions.

As an organization, ACSA holds itself to a high standard of equity and inclusion. California public education leaders stand side-by-side with students and school communities of all races, colors and genders. We believe in fairness, integrity and positive interventions. Our members condemn acts of hate and violence and believe our society must have a vision of respect and inclusivity.

Education leaders are difference-makers in our communities large and small and we understand our role is to create schools where discourse on inherent human rights and social responsibility towards all people is the core standard. Our schools must be models for society of inclusion, respect and appreciation toward all students, families and staff.

ACSA believes that the most effective way to honor victims is to strengthen the conversation and advocacy about social issues and system inequities in our public schools, our state and across the nation.

As an organization focused on student advocacy, we are taking the proactive step in uniting some of the most powerful equity-based voices for a thoughtful night of discussion and empowerment. ACSA will host the Systemic Racial Intolerance and Injustice town hall live on Monday at 5:30pm on the ACSA Facebook and YouTube platforms. Our goal is to commit and establish a platform for continued leadership to ensure our schools and society teach inclusion, anti-racism and social responsibility. Our hope is that this free, interactive community forum is a step toward connecting participants with the spirit of community and family.

Sincerely,
Linda Kaminski, Ed.D. ACSA President
Wesley Smith, Ed.D. Executive Director
"No single policy or program will reverse centuries of oppression, but repealing Prop 209 would end an era of willful ignorance
and start to level the playing field."
The past week has been a painful reminder that racism and discrimination continue to eat away at progress toward equal opportunity, especially for black communities who have been disproportionately impacted by harmful systems for far too long. I am more resolved than ever that our collective work to advance equity requires race conscious policymaking. We need policies that allow schools and districts to take race into account as they make decisions around hiring, recruiting, and retaining educators. In recent days, I have been grateful to see so many allies and young people speak out against injustice. Those words matter, and their true power is in their ability to spur action and enact change. No single policy or program will reverse centuries of oppression, but repealing Prop 209 would end an era of willful ignorance and start to level the playing field.

On June 3, the Assembly Appropriations Committee took an important step toward equality for all Californians by advancing ACA 5, which would give voters the opportunity to end the state’s counterproductive ban on affirmative action. When Proposition 209 was passed almost 25 years ago, it forced our state leaders to turn a blind eye to discrimination and inequality. We cannot overcome the barriers to equal opportunity if we pretend they do not exist. This chance to vote our values now moves to the full Assembly which takes place in the coming weeks. We all have a role to play in this moment. If you are a legislator who has spoken out against inequality, California is counting on you to put your power behind your words. If you lead a school district, county office, or other organization that has reaffirmed its commitment to diversity and inclusion, now is the time to join us in the Opportunity for All coalition. If you’re an advocate, this is a chance to exercise your voice by contacting your representatives.

It’s time to stop the cycle of history repeating. Prop 209 was a misguided effort that resulted in the spread of racial disparities in California. Today, the impact of these missteps are on full display, but California has a chance to choose a different direction. Please join the Education Trust-West and over one hundred civil rights, education equity, labor, business and community organizations across California in strong support of ACA 5 . Let’s channel our pain into action by implementing this change that has the ability to impact students and families across California.



Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga
Executive Director, The Education Trust–West
 @ESArrillaga
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