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January 2022 Newsletter

"I celebrate teaching that enables transgressions - a movement against and beyond boundaries. It is that movement which makes education the practice of freedom."
- bell hooks  
AOEC Book Club 2022!

**Please note that changes to the sections we will be covering at each session**

AOEC is looking forward to our 2022 Book Club! Over three months, we are going to take a deep dive into Mariame Kaba’s revolutionary bestseller “ We Do This ‘Till We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice” 
 

As educators in a system tied up in oppression and power, we owe it to our students, our communities, and ourselves to take accountability and continue to engage with these important ideas and abolitionist frameworks. 

 

Author Bio: “Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator and curator who is active in movements for racial, gender, and transformative justice. She is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration”. 

 

In this collection of essays, Kaba raises issues around the prison industrial complex, policing, surveillance, and systemic oppression and offers a more community-centered approach rooted in transformative and restorative justice.  

Register here.

OPPORTUNITY FOR BIPOC MEMBERS:
Talking Circle to Discuss Police in Schools

The BCTF is looking to engage BIPOC members working in Surrey, Burnaby, and Vancouver in a Talking Circle around the relationship between police and school practices and a broader conversation around creating and sustaining safety in schools. The Talking Circle will be grounded in Indigenous ceremonies and cultural practices and led by an Indigenous community leader. See below for more details:

VSTA & VESTA members can register here.
BTA members can register here.
STA members will be notified soon through the local about dates and how to register!

Organizing Against SLOs

Starting in the 1970s and implemented swiftly and quietly over the following decades, school resource officer (SRO) programs found police stationed in an increasing number of schools across what we dominantly know today as Canada. Initiated by police, with the open acceptance of school administrations, and without community consultation, these programs represented an escalation of the policing of students in their schooling environments.

Then in 2017, the trend began to reverse course. 

Read about efforts by activists across Canada in this great article in Briarpatch here.

Reaction to Trustee's Comments Led to Defamation Suit. Now It's Going to Canada's Top Court

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal from a former BCTF president. The appeal is of an earlier lower court ruling that gave a Chilliwack school trustee the green light to continue with his defamation suit against the former BCTF president. 

This CBC article provides background on the case.

Teachers are encouraged to make use of the lesson plan ideas and professional development resources pertaining sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression on the SOGI 123 website.

 

An End to School Streaming in Vancouver?

"Critics have argued that streaming unfairly puts Black, Indigenous and other students of colour into applied learning tracks, limiting their future prospects and entrenching inequity in the school system," writes The Tyee's Katie Hyslop. 

Check out her feature article here about efforts underway in Vancouver to try to end streaming practices.

Why We All Need to Stop Using Ableist Slurs

Language has long been used to dehumanize or marginalize people with disabilities. While ableism exists beyond the words we use, in structures and policies, our vocabularies can help us how we think and behave with people around us. This great piece features four disability rights activists who discuss why our words matter, how they influence our biases, thoughts, and behaviors, and what we can do to check them.

Recommended Resource
Last year marked 150 years (1871-2021) since BC joined Canada. 150 Years and Counting (150YC) is a new open-access, multi-media resource that documents how this recent cycle of anti-racist activism is part of a broader history of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities challenging white supremacy for over 150 years – particularly since 1871 when BC joined Canada.

Co-authored by activists & scholars from diverse communities, this resource, which includes an 80-page illustrated booklet, an Enhanced Digital Edition, a 'Teachers' Corner' webpage, and a 3-part video series, will assist anti-racist educators, teachers, scholars, and policymakers in piercing the silences that too often have let racism fester in communities, corporations, and governments.

All of these resources and more can be found on our website https://challengeracistbc.ca/ 
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