Dear AWSNA Community Members,
We send this email today acknowledging societal injustice and the resulting anger that has escalated throughout the United States this past week. We offer our thoughts to the communities of City of Lakes Waldorf School and Minnesota Waldorf School, so near the epicenter of the protests spurred by the murder of George Floyd. We grieve for the family of George Floyd and are outraged by the unjust acts perpetrated by police officers whose very task it is to protect their communities. We are once again reminded of the systemic racism that exists within the United States.
Yet we recognize that sadness and outrage are not enough. At the foundation of Waldorf education lies the mission of social renewal. As Waldorf educators, we hold the dignity of life and the human being at the center of our work. It is our responsibility to bear witness to what is happening in the world, to elevate the voices of marginalized people, to change the course of inequities, and to break down structural prejudice in all forms where it exists, particularly in Waldorf education.
We wanted to remind you of the AWSNA Member Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, adopted by the delegates in June 2019, attached. In approving this commitment statement, the Association and member schools and institutes agreed to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion. As such, advancing DEI is one of the guiding forces behind AWSNA’s strategic priorities. The AWSNA executive team is spending more time than ever asking the following questions:
How do I participate, consciously or unconsciously, in systemic racism?
What meaningful actions will I take in service to the leadership and agency of people of color?
Where are the possibilities for me to prioritize racial justice in my work to further Waldorf education?
We know many of you have taken up the work of DEI in meaningful ways within your communities. We invite you to join us in exploring these questions and in elevating your school’s commitment to social justice initiatives.
In addition to the resources and discussions located in the DEI Community in the AWSNA Community Hub, we hope you find the following to be helpful:
How to talk to children about racism and violence: resources for teachers, parents and guardians
Anti-racism Resources for White People: a compilation of resources for white people and parents to deepen our work in anti-racism
Array Now: Started by Ava DuVernay, director of Now They See Us, this is a compilation of African American independent films – an array of stories and voices.
Teaching Tolerance: Teaching about race, racism, and police violence
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice: Curated by Medium and updated regularly.
Blessings on your work,
Beverly, Stephanie, and Melanie