Want to know why Minneapolis is burning?
Mama. He called Mama.
At least that’s why I want to burn, why I feel like I could scream until flames rip out of my throat. He has called up great power. I want all of us to turn, all of us who have heard Mama in a store and thought it meant us. It’s time to turn. White mamas, mamas with privilege, you have been summoned. And any of us who have ever cried out Mama, we hear it too, down in our bones. It’s a cry that can’t go unanswered anymore. So Minneapolis burns. And we need to gut all the spaces in our lives where systemic racism has quarter.
I think of the other mamas who turned a tide: Emmett Till’s, for one. We speak out of the deep mystery from whence all life springs. My white people: Nurture antiracism in your life like you would a child in your arms, even if you’ve only just heard it named. Learn what it means and how to foster it. Care about it, give it space in your life. Come to understand it, even if it’s difficult and challenges everything.
Mama is coming. And the men who make order in the world should be very afraid.
~Mary Helen Kennerly
PTSA Resolution on Anti-Racism
As PTSA leadership we are parents; many of us are Mama. We have been summoned, and now is the time to answer, not simply with platitudes, but with action. In PTSA that action takes the form of resolutions and policy. It is time for us to acknowledge that we can be racist or anti-racist, but we cannot be neutral. It is time for us to acknowledge our power, as well as the existence and pervasiveness of systemic racism. It is time for us to fight for the education of our children in the hope that doing so will save the lives of our black and brown children and all children furthest from educational justice.
Whereas “the most fundamental right is the right to live” 1 and that right is being denied to black people across this country and in Seattle;
whereas systemic racism is embedded in every aspect of this country, including public schools;
whereas systemic racism in our school system is a major factor in the opportunity gap between white and black students;
whereas we must choose whether to be a racist or anti-racist organization as there is no neutral space;
whereas PTA moves toward “every child. One voice,” but the voices and needs of black children continue to be left out and unheard;
Resolved, that Bryant PTSA commits to being an anti-racist organization.
Educates our PTSA members on issues related to anti-racism through hosting parent education events, providing anti-racism books and resources for families, and by including information on anti-racism in every PTSA Board Meeting.
Actively works to center the voices of our families furthest from educational justice by engaging with families.
Actively works with our school, Seattle Public Schools, the City of Seattle, and the State of Washington to provide opportunities and funding for professional development for anti-racism work.