About 25 delegates to the Washington State PTA conference saw Roosevelt High School: Beyond Black & White on Saturday, May 21 at the Lynnwood Conference Center. A panel discussion followed.
Natalya Yudkovsky, advocacy chair for the RHS PTA, led the conversation with help from Roosevelt student Quincy Purcell and RARE board member Jane Nellams. The conversation centered around what PTA members could do now to improve racial equity at the schools that they represent.
Participants wanted to know not just how to change the students’ experience but also how to improve relationships among parents and school staff. One person, who was White, asked if she should ask Black people how she could best work with them. Panelists suggested that it is not the responsibility of the Black person to educate White people.
They suggested reading “The 1619 Project,” “White Fragility,” or “How to Be an Anti-Racist.”
One participant asked about how to improve race relations in a school with an overwhelmingly White population. In her question, she mentioned that using the N word would not be cause for disciplinary action. Nellams replied by asking why not and suggested that the school formulate a plan to address that.
Participants received a brochure about RARE. The session lasted an hour.