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Students Raising Hands in Classroom
Op-Ed March 8, 2024

More Than a Month Mobilization Initiative

Students Raising Hands in Classroom

In a society yearning for equity and demanding progress, the acceptance of Critical Race Theory is not just an academic decision, it is a moral obligation. Our education system is under attack. A disturbing trend is gaining ground in the battleground of ideas that is our educational system: the advent of anti-Critical Race Theory (CRT) legislation. This isn't about preserving education as sacred, it's a thinly disguised effort to whitewash history, silence uncomfortable conversations, and increase ignorant citizens. The creators of these flawed legislative efforts seem more focused on preserving a distorted sense of patriotism rather than critical thinking abilities. They conveniently forget that education is meant to provide the youth with nuanced viewpoints of the world that challenge the status quo. Yet in their narrow war on CRT, they undermine the very purpose of education itself.

Critical race theory, a framework that examines how systemic racism operates in various aspects of society, has become a lightning rod for controversy. Yet, precisely this discomfort signals its importance. It needs to be understood that true progress requires an honest reckoning with our past, acknowledging the injustices that have shaped our present, and actively working towards a more just future. True progress demands an honest reflection on our past, recognizing the flaws in our current, and working for a resounding future. A wholesome education must ideally equip the youth with critical thinking abilities to face the different complexities within themselves and the environment, as well as with others that form encounters. However, with the anti-critical race theory (CRT) legislation just passed, the government is just attempting to tell the story of our history and influence public opinion. Anne Fortier once said... "those that control the past could rewrite the past..." in these legislative moves, the powers that be wish to rewrite history in ways that fit their preferred narrative - one that obliquely ignores the struggles of very poor individuals and perpetuates a distortion of truth.

In a diverse state like New York, integrating critical race theory (CRT) into school curricula is not just an academic choice; it's a necessity for fostering understanding and unity among the state's diverse population. New York City's diverse populations need an educational strategy that isn't a one-size-fits-all-all deal. CRT offers a lens whereby students can inquire about the historic underpinnings of systemic racism while building cultural competence and empathy. Realizing the state's experiences and engaging in an open discussion about social inequalities, CRT prepares students to engage in the complexity of our connected society. Ultimately, adopting CRT in New York's schools is an investment in creating educated, socially aware people.

More than a Month: A sustained effort in the works to combat anti-CRT legislation and promote inclusive education programs. Such mobilization isn't a fleeting call for change. By way of grassroots organizing, public awareness campaigns, and deliberate training curriculum projects, More Than a Month challenges discriminatory practices and encourages equal opportunities for all. Through active community engagement, the program produces a feeling of collective accountability in the battle against discrimination. The struggle to stop discriminatory practices whenever they happen should come from individuals and communities; It can not be accomplished in legislative chambers alone. This is the reason it begins locally in our communities advocating for an inclusive educational system.

To attend school board meetings is more than a civic duty. It is a direct way to shape the future of our educational system. These gatherings enable parents, educators, and community members to talk about concerns, share insights, and participate in decisions impacting our schools. In a world where youth education is at the cutting edge of societal advancement, attending such sessions guarantees that different diverse opinions are considered so we see the change we desire. It's a chance to observe how decision-makers make choices, hear about issues our schools have, and provide ideas for change. Participation in school board meetings serves as a well-informed advocate for young people and also promotes accountability and transparency for our local school board members inside our schools. The greater the number of voices heard, the deeper the dialogue and also the former the foundation of an inclusive education system.

In today's digitally connected world, social media for grassroots organizing is much more than a direction - it is something for expressing yourself and for change. Using all social media enables us to reach a broader audience through outreach events, mobilize communities, engage community stakeholders, and recap our experiences as organizers to talk about the following. Social media acts as a catalyst for promoting awareness of CRT and its role in cultivating nuanced racial dynamics. It is a powerful combination: grassroots organizing via social media enables people to push for comprehensive equitable education that makes CRT a standard component of the curriculum.

Introducing CRT into classrooms bridges the gaps in understanding and fosters a more nuanced and inclusive learning environment that equips students to navigate the complexity of our society. We must be willing to confront the uncomfortable truths of our past and actively work toward a future characterized by justice and equality to achieve our society's goals. It's time to understand that education isn't about creating obedient minds but about producing thinkers who are not afraid to contribute, challenge, and question our society's evolution. Anything less is an insult to the ideals we claim to uphold.

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