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The latest ideas and information from Washington Ethnic Studies Now

We Pause to Remember the Refugees of Wars This Memorial Day Weekend

Below is a message from Friendly Vang-Johnson, founder of Friendly Hmong Farms, a CSA created during COVID to support Hmong flower farmers whose businesses were shuttered during quarantine. There will be no flowers this week / weekend as we take time as a nation to reflect and honor the sacrifices of fallen American soldiers. Some of us will celebrate in the “traditional” way with…

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Petition: Address Racism and White Supremacy in North Thurston Public Schools

EDIT: Success! At the request of the authors of the petition, the petition has been temporarily suspended while they work with the North Thurston School Board, who has responded to all of you who signed the petition! Many thanks for elevating this issue and being catalysts for change! If you would like to send your own email, please visit the North Thurston School District…

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Your Gaze Doesn’t Define Me – The Identities of Mixed-Race People

I decided to write this blog post because I recently came under attack with accusations of being a “racial imposter,” using my “proximity to Brownness” for personal gain. While I can easily dismiss this accusation from someone who doesn’t know me or my work, the accusation has dredged up a lot of the trauma I’ve experienced around navigating a mixed-race identity; never being enough…

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When Anti-Racism and Anti-Blackness Collide: A Seattle Education Association Story

by Tracy Castro-Gill, Shraddha Shirude, Sara Lockenvitz, and Amanda Hubbard What follows is a story that is, no doubt, playing out in organizations across the globe. It’s a story of what happens when anti-racism and anti-Blackness collide. It’s a story that is trying to be hidden, but we have come together to make it public – as a cautionary tale – for others in…

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SB5044 OPPORTUNITY FOR COMMUNITY ACTION

If you’ve been following our social media, you’ll know we’ve been tracking SB5044 concerning anti-racist professional development. It has passed the Senate and must pass the House by March 26th. We can use the time between now and then to influence important changes to the language of this bill. The WAESN Legislative Subcommittee has read through the bill and has the following concerns/talking points…

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Support BIPOC Whistleblowers

Feature image from KUOW Recently, KUOW published information about the practice of putting children, mostly Black and Brown special education students, in cages. More distressing than the practice is the fact that the practice, itself, is approved by policy in Seattle Public Schools. The educator who blew the whistle, named in the KUOW piece, is Jackie Flaherty. Jackie is a veteran kindergarten educator and…

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OSPI Ethnic Studies Failure

Directors and members of WAESN have been participating in and following the work of the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s work on the legally mandated creation of a K-12 model Ethnic Studies Curriculum. WAESN board president, Amanda Hubbard, is an official member of this committee and has witnessed fragile whiteness in both the leadership of this committee and the creation…

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Remove Denise Juneau; An open letter to the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors

By Rita Green, NAACP Education Chair for Washington, Oregon, and Alaska Recently, the King County NAACP, in support of the Washington State NAACP Youth Council, called for the removal of Superintendent Denise Juneau. Below is a detailed rationale for their actions written by Rita Green. To support the efforts of the NAACP, please sign the petition at the end of this open letter. Denise…

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Petition: Fire Superintendent Denise Juneau

On October 5th, youth leaders of the NAACP Youth Council demanded that Superintendent Juneau be terminated. Below is an excerpt of the speech given by Angelina Riley, co-president of the NAACP Youth Council, outlining the reasons why they are demanding her termination. One mission of Washington Ethnic Studies Now is to center the voices of BIPOC students, and we are doing that by assisting…

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WAESN Voting Guide 2020

As a 501(c)(4), one of Washington Ethnic Studies Now’s (WAESN) purposes is to advocate at all levels of government for the advancement of Ethnic Studies and anti-racist practices and policies in public education. As such, we are providing our first, ever, election guide with our choices for state and national level candidates, resolutions, advisory votes, and referendums. We surveyed members of our Executive Team…

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Open Letter to SPS: Mobilize the Immobilized

By Alex Ng Open Letter to Seattle Public Schools Students, Families, Educators, and Communities “We need to mobilize what works.” – Dr. Nicole Law Seattle School District leaders consistently do just the opposite. They immobilize what works, even after it has been proven to work. They impede and stall the work our communities call for, and take away from educators the very tools that…

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Ethnic Studies Kitchen Conversations with April Berg

In June of 2020 WAESN Executive Director, Tracy Castro-Gill, and Board Director, Jeff Stone, were invited to discuss Ethnic Studies with April Berg, Democratic candidate for State Representative in the 44th District. The conversation included everything from what is Ethnic Studies, to who should teach it, and the status of Ethnic Studies in Washington State. Below is the video of that conversation followed by…

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An Elder Millennial’s Journey to Ethnic Studies & Visual Arts, Part Two

By Alex Ng This multipart journal is where I am documenting my thoughts as I embark on the journey of revising all of my classes from decent Visual Arts curriculum with some Ethnic Studies themes and content integrated throughout, to true Ethnic Studies Visual Arts at all levels: curriculum, pedagogy, and classroom culture. Part Two picks up where Part One ended: the start of…

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