Supporting our AAPI community
Dear Wiseburn families and friends,
I reach out to you all today with a message of support and solidarity for our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. As you all may be aware, targeted hate crimes taking place in our country have left members of our AAPI communities afraid of experiencing harm on the basis of race and ethnicity.
I want to amplify these concerns for our community's awareness, to recognize the fear and pain that the AAPI community continues to endure, and to remind our AAPI community members, as well as members of disenfranchised and marginalized communities that have experienced racism, violence, and discrimination, that we stand with you.
Since the pandemic began, there has been an alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry. A national coalition known as Stop AAPI Hate has reported nearly 3,800 instances of discrimination against AAPI individuals in the past year. In Los Angeles County alone in 2020, Stop AAPI Hate received reports of 245 incidents of hate. It's likely that these figures represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur. These incidents happen in businesses, public streets, public parks, online, and in schools, and are traumatic for the individuals affected as well as entire communities.
As a district, we want to remind our community that hate and discrimination have no place in Wiseburn. We strongly condemn bigotry, racism, and hatred against the AAPI community, and against any member of our community. Last night, our Board of Trustees adopted a resolution denouncing xenophobia and anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander sentiment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and affirming the District's commitment to the well-being and safety of Asian Americans. The resolution can be found here.
We'd like to acknowledge that injustice, anxiety about hate incidents, working through discrimination, and isolation are also experienced by many people belonging to marginalized groups. The Wiseburn ACTS Committee has worked to create resources to help our community learn and come together in support of both our AAPI community and the elimination of racial discrimination. We encourage our families to explore these resources here, and to contact our CARE Team and Dana Middle School Counseling Team for direct support. We also want to remind our community that, beyond our annual climate surveys, you can always write to us with your concerns on these and other issues through our Share Your Thoughts form on our website.
As we have seen over the past year, our national dialogue on racism, discrimination, equity, and inclusion is a continuous one, and we intend to hold these conversations in our district. Wiseburn Unified School District adopted assurances to support the safety, well-being, and inclusivity of all students, parents, caregivers, teachers, other school employees, and visitors. We must view our work as a district through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure we live up to these assurances, especially as our students continue to return to the classroom during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wiseburn is a community that values diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging for all our members. Right now, as our AAPI community contends with hurt and pain and the trauma of the rise in hate crimes, we want to affirm our commitment to the well-being and safety of AAPI students, parents, caregivers, teachers, other school employees, and visitors.
To our AAPI community members, we want you to know that you are integral, welcomed, and honored members of our community and student body.
Blake Silvers, Ed.D.