Our city is changing, shifting, and morphing. Our city is one of the top cities for interracial relationships. Think of what this will mean for our youth and what our community will look like in 20 years. When visualizing this transition there are many factors to encompass. We as a community must actively look at the culture and climate of our city and be willing and interested in putting in the work to make it The City of Destiny for all, no matter your race or socioeconomic standing. Part of this process is opening up the discussion on race and equity. Vibrant Schools Tacoma spearheaded a city wide conversation, hosting two Undoing Institutionalized Racism Workshops. We teamed up with facilitated from The People’s Institute Northwest along with Collective Empowerment Leadership Development and Symbiotic Concepts Unlimited to deliver these workshops for Tacoma. The UIR Workshops target all of the major local institutions: education, housing, healthcare, employment, nutrition, politics, and criminal justice. The goal of these workshops was not to have large numbers of people but a purposeful group who are interested in dedicating their time to lasting change within our community. After most workshops surrounding race, culture, racism, or equity, we leave feeling invigorated but with no concrete action plan. After these workshops ended, Vibrant Schools set up quarterly followup UIR Workshops to discuss collective action for our city. We partnered with local organizations for sponsorship of the two day workshops and are actively seeking sponsors for our ongoing events. We have Tacoma facilitators create a safe environment for growth surrounding equity and anti-racist work. By bringing together key leaders and organizations within our community, our goal is to have sustainable results for participants that spans beyond their own job and position. Vibrant Schools is partnering with Race and Pedagogy, so those who follow through with the quarterly events can present at the 2014 National Conference, sharing what anti-racist and equity work they have done within their own organization or institution here in Tacoma. It is an exciting opportunity to collectively shift our mindset and work together for the betterment of all.
Our January 31st Quarterly UIR Workshops, hosted by the Human Rights Commission at the Municipal Building was a huge success. We had representatives from Tacoma Public Schools, The City of Tacoma, YWCA, Hilltop Urban Gardens, STAND for Children, Peace Community Center, Washington State University, Making a Difference in Community, NAACP, Vibrant Schools Steering Committee, and more.
April, Tacoma Public Schools is hosting. July Hilltop Urban Gardens is hosting at The Grand Cinema. Lastly in September, Race and Pedagogy will be hosting the final UIR Quarterly workshops at the University of Puget Sound in preparation for the their national conference.
It is all very exciting and a beginning to what can be lasting change for Tacoma surrounding race and equity.
Vibrant Schools would like to thank those organizations who have already sponsored this work: Tacoma Public Schools, Solutions for Humanity, Community, and the Environment, Race and Pedagogy, Human Rights Commission, and League of Education Voters.
Below is a list of the organizations who had representatives participate in our August and September UIR Workshops:
August 28th & 29th
(average 40 attendees)
-City of Tacoma Human Rights Commission Staff
-Peace Community Center
-Race and Pedagogy
-American Leadership Forum Alumni
-MDC ~ Making a Difference in Community
-Russell Family Foundation’s Jane’s Fellowship Leader
-Foundation for Tacoma Students
-Solutions for Humanity, Community, and the Environment
September 18th & 19th
-Tacoma Public Schools central office administrators, principals, and teachers
-League of Education Voters
-Stand for Children
-Kids at Hope
-MDC ~ Making a Difference in Community; College Bound representatives
-Vibrant Schools Steering Committee
-Peace Community Center
For more information or to sponsor please contact us at: Info@VibrantSchoolsTacoma.org