Mark Your Calendars: Quaker Style Community Meeting — Thursday, June 11th, 8pm via Zoom
Sheridan School is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Sheridan Quaker Meeting
Time: Jun 11, 2020 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 837 3950 7060
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Meeting ID: 837 3950 7060
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kduE2qswK0
Dear Sheridan Families,
Today I had planned to send a video to you to honor our students’ last day together this year and wish everyone health and happiness during the summer. Instead, I find myself compelled to reach out to you not to close the year, but to invite you to stay with us to support one another and find ways to act and heal together.
As a community, we must make it a priority to support and act as allies to our African American families as we struggle to process the continued deaths of black people in the name of policing. The recent deaths of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, George Floyd in Minnesota, and Tony McDade in Florida are far from the first, but they have triggered fear, anger, frustration, and, most especially, heartbreak, as they reinforce just how hard it has been to achieve true change.
With permission, I am sharing a note in which Indira Martell, a Sheridan parent gives voice to the feelings the recent killings have evoked:
“James Baldwin said, ‘To be black in America is to be in a constant rage.’ He wasn’t wrong. But I also find myself also filled with fear, sorrow, fatigue, and a bone deep longing for a just world. A world wherein justice is equal to my pride in all the good that has been, and will be, achieved by Africans and Africans of the diaspora. A world in which a black man will not be sentenced to death on the street because he might have been in the process of forging something. A world in which the power of the government’s policing arm cannot/will not be brought to bear against a black man who has lawfully asked a white woman to leash her dog and abide by the law. A world in which mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and friends can sleep easy, walk easy, run easy, and be easy in the knowledge that the color of their skin won’t be the reason they come to harm or are put to death.”
This parent also delivers a call to action: “Please take what you have considered in your mind and heart, and act on it with care. Help make things right, fair, and just.”
Right, fair and just. Imagine a world where those values prevail, especially for people who have yet to fully know them.
Below we share a number of resources that provide ideas for peaceful and meaningful actions that we each can take to combat racism and effect change, whether as individuals, as families or through our networks and communities. Standing up is a core part of our mission and there is no better way to encourage it in our students than to demonstrate it ourselves.
We also know that in times like these, sharing can be a profound source of comfort and support. A few years ago, we held a Quaker-style meeting where Sheridan adults and students of middle school age came together to share their thoughts and feelings about police shootings and violence at the time. Many who attended this meeting said it helped them immensely to see the support and strength within our community and to work through their own feelings.
I think it is time, once again, for our community to come together in this way. While we are restricted by the pandemic from meeting in person, I invite you all to join me in community on Thursday, June 11 at 8pm on Zoom (link to follow). We will use the Quaker format of speaking our own truths and sharing our thoughts and hopes in a supportive environment. I hope you will come and be a part of this safe space to discuss what is happening. All Sheridan parents, guardians, staff and older students are welcome.
I hope to see many of you on the 11th. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and be encouraged that our children are learning daily how to make a right, fair and just community for all. To our African American community members, on behalf of the entire Sheridan community — please know that we love you, we support you, and we stand with you.
A Guide to How You Can Support Marginalized Communities: Allyship can mean different things to different people, and it can be tough to know where to start. This guide from CNN has a number of recommendations.
Six Ways Your Kids Can Be Little Activists: From Multicultural Kids Blogs, six suggestions for involving children in age-appropriate activism.
26 Ways To Be In The Struggle Beyond The Streets: From Indira, a list of ways to support peaceful protests from near or far.
Conversations with Children
How to Talk to Children about Protests and Racism: An age-by-age guide from CNN. It also reminds parents that you need to take care of yourself first and to be aware of how much media your children are watching.
How to Talk to Young Children About Black Lives Matter Guiding Principles: Earlier in the year, we talked schoolwide in classrooms about Black Lives Matter and their guiding principles. You can find these principles and parent resources that support continued conversations with young children.
Talking to Children After Racial Incidents. Why and how we should talk to our children about racism and violence from the University of Pennyslvania’s Graduate School of Education.
- Conversation Starters. If you are looking for ways to initiate a conversation about with your child about recent and ongoing events, these discussion starters from the Anti-Defamation League can be helpful:
Grades K-4 Students
What do you know about what happened?
How do you feel about it?
What questions do you have?
Grades 5-8 Students
What do you know about the incident that happened?
What are your feelings about what you heard?
In what ways do you think bias and intolerance played a role in what happened?
How can we help to prevent ourselves and other people from stereotyping and scapegoating others?
What can we do to help the victims and their families?