Booker T. Washington Middle School has established an Equity Team whose goals include enhancing and improving efforts to ensure academic success by closing opportunity gaps and providing equitable and inclusive working and learning environments for all students, families, staff and communities. Additionally, it is intended that increase in diversity and equity and establishing these conversations will lead to tangible and intangible results such as increased cultural understanding and decreased discipline rates. The specific goals of the Equity Team will be determined by its committee so that we can determine the focus most appropriate for our school.
The NYC Department of Education has established the Equity and Excellence for All program with the intention of supporting diversity in New York City public schools. For the NYC Department of Education "Equity" means meeting every student where they are, and providing the support, resources, and high expectations for them to achieve at consistently high levels.
District 3 has asked that all schools create a distinct Equity Team comprised of parents, students, faculty and administration to begin the process of assessing what equity and diversity means for their school community and begin the process of establishing an open dialogue.
The definition of diversity includes: Socio-economic, Region, Disability, Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation, Language, Age, Religion.
The DOE is committed to creating and supporting learning environments that reflect the diversity of New York City and with the belief that all students benefit from diverse and inclusive schools and classrooms.
Randee Johnson, teacher
Danielle Zipkin, teacher
Dr. Judy Scott-Clayton, parent
September 30, 2020
7 - 8:30 pm
February 4, 2021
8 - 8:45am
steering committee meeting minutes
NEWS and resources
BLACK CULTURE APPRECIATION MONTH
Check out some of our other BCAM spaces!
Black Culture Appreciation Month Activity Guide
Spend some of your Mid-Winter vacation having fun with our Black Culture Appreciation Month Activity Guide! Check out our suggestions for media (films, books, music), restaurants and shopping!
BCAM Kahoot #2
Friday, February 26, 2021 @ 5:30pm
We hope that you have enjoyed all of the rich content from the Daily Slideshow! Catch up on anything you missed! On Friday, we invited you all to play a Kahoot hosted by our very own Mr. Dutton and Mr. Welch! The top 5 winners received prizes!
Booker T. Family Night for BCAM
February 24, 2021
On Wednesday, MS54 continued their Black Culture Appreciation Month celebration with a Family Night event that included:
CELEBRATING BLACK HAITIAN HISTORY
In 1791, a coordinated slave revolt in Saint Domingue, today’s Republic of Haiti, spawned a thirteen-year revolution against French colonialism that resulted in the first Black republic in the Western Hemisphere. For African Americans, Haiti’s declaration of independence in 1804 became a symbol of self-emancipation and radical equality leading many to emigrate to Haiti in the mid 1820s. In contrast, Thomas Jefferson and the Southern planter class were terrified and opposed to Haitian independence. Jefferson advocated for the successful abolition of trade relations between the US and Haiti. Similarly, France promoted Haiti’s political and economic isolation. Despite being the richest colony in the 18th century, the abolition of trade relations coupled with the $21 billion “debt” Haiti paid to France for the “theft” of slaveholder’s property devastated the fledgling republic. The repercussions of these corrupt policies impact Haiti’s economic insolvency to this day. However, the Haitian revolution continues to inspire literary, philosophical and political discourses throughout the African diaspora. (Source: Dubois, Laurent. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Cambridge, MA.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.)
To learn more, families may enjoy this short interview with Leyla McCalla, a Haitian American musician who talks with the interviewer about her music, identity, and Black Haitian history.
FEBRUARY 2021 PTA PRESENTATION
The Equity Steering Committee gave a short presentation at the PTA meeting on February 9, 2021 to share data on school demographics, recap some of the activities we have worked on since getting started in 2018 - 19, and preview plans for the rest of the year. You can view the presentation slides, with links, to additional resources.
LUNAR NEW YEAR AT MS54
The MS54 Asian American Association (AAA) celebrated Lunar New Year on February 10, 2021 at 5:30PM with an event imparting the story behind Lunar New Year, how different cultures celebrate the holiday, making paper lanterns, gathering some festive recipe ideas, and playing a fun Kahoot for a chance to win a prize!
IMMIGRANT HISTORY INITIATIVE
On January 22, 2021, the Immigrant History Initiative and Dr. Jenny Wang presented a free Talking to Kids about Asian American Identity and Racism workshop for parents on how to engage in conversations about Asian American identity and racism.
The organizers also provided additional resources and references:
MINNEAPOLIS AND POLICE BRUTALITY
We grieve for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many other victims of white supremacy and police brutality in America. The Equity Steering Committee at MS 54 stands in solidarity with the protestors risking their lives to demand justice, accountability, and reform, and with the members of our MS54 school community - students, families, teachers, and staff - who bear the burdens of this moment especially, and too often on their own.
We’ve compiled a list of important reading, action steps, and other resources tuned to the moment, to help ground your response to these times.
CELEBRATING LATINX AND HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH 2020
Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 runs from September 15th through October 15th, recognizing and celebrating the contributions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South American and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean, as well as their impacts on American society and culture. The observance was born in 1968 when Congress authorized an annual proclamation designating National Hispanic Heritage Week. Two decades later, lawmakers expanded it to a month long celebration, always beginning on September 15th. September 15th marks the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16th and September 18th, respectively.
See the 2020 Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month resource list with videos, books, websites, and news articles compiled by the MS54 Equity Team.
On Friday, June 5th, the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility joined us for a facilitated discussion about the issues being experienced in our community and throughout the country. The following poems were part of the introduction to this event.
The Trough, by Judy Brown
Shoulders, by Naomi Shihab Nye
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN MONTH (MAY 2020)
Students in MS54's Asian American Association have created two videos:
#morethanamask CAMPAIGN VIDEO
We are #morethanamask. Founded by the Asian American Association at MS54 to raise awareness about health, safety, and discrimination. Please support our efforts and activism by reposting or creating your own post using our #morethanamask.
Follow @aaazn54 on Instagram for more ways to celebrate Asian heritage and more ways to support our activism.
ADDRESSING HATE IN THE ERA OF COVID-19 VIDEO
STUDENT AFFINITY GROUPS
ASIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
The Asian American Association was founded by a cohort of students who were inspired by the growing sense of Asian activism during the winter of 2020.
If you’re interested in joining us for the 2020-2021 school year, please fill out the prospective member survey!
GENDER SEXUALITY ALLIANCE
The GSA is a safe space for all students to be themselves and to discuss LGBTQ+ issues, problems and experiences - while both improving the schools community and of course, hanging out with friends and having fun!
If you are interested in joining us or have questions, please sign up for more info (you must have a DOE account) or e-mail Mr. Chilelli.
SHADES: A MULTICULTURAL AFFINITY GROUP
Do you identify as Black, African American, Latinx, Caribbean American, or a person of color?
Do you want to have a space to talk about topics relevant to our communities?
Fill out this Google Form to learn about Shades: A Multicultural Affinity Group.