D.C. Area Black Lives Matter
Week of Action in Schools
February 4-8, 2019
Plans are underway for the 2019 Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools.
From February 4-8, 2019, Teaching for Change's D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice, Center for Inspired Teaching, the D.C. area educators, and community members will collaborate on the D.C. Area Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools. This week of action will build on the momentum of last year’s successful week of action and the National Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Our Schools campaign taking place in cities across the U.S. to promote a set of local and national demands based in the Black Lives Matter guiding principles that focus on improving the school experience for students of color.
The Black Lives Matter movement is a powerful, non-violent peace movement that systematically examines injustices that exist at the intersections of race, class, and gender; including mass incarceration, poverty, non-affordable housing, income disparity, homophobia, unfair immigration laws, gender inequality, and poor access to healthcare.
Each day will explore two to three of the Black Lives Matter guiding principles. In school, teachers across the area will implement Black Lives Matter Week of Action curriculum designed for pre-K through 12th-grade classrooms. In the evening, there will be events for educators, students, stakeholders, and community members to actively engage in the movement.
The goal of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools is to spark an ongoing movement of critical reflection and honest conversations in school communities for people of all ages to engage with critical issues of social justice. It is our duty as educators and community members to civically engage students and build their empathy, collaboration, and agency so they are able to thrive. Students must learn to examine, address, and grapple with issues of racism and discrimination that persist in their lives and communities.
Resources for Educators (lessons, readings, films, and more)
Participating Schools 2018
Teachers from these schools and more participated in the #BlackLivesMatteratSchool Week of Action in 2018.
In the News
The library was silent, a rarity at LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, a public school in Washington, DC. The fourth and fifth grade students were intensely focused on the video in front of them. Library media specialist Lindsay Hall was intently watching, too, while monitoring her kids’ reactions to the short video, which discussed the start of the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality, and violence against the black community.
Hall, one of the educators across the country who participated in the national Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action from February 5 to 9, was inspired to act and assisted in bringing the mission to the classroom by Teaching for Change, a DC-based non-profit organization based, with the goal of “building social justice, starting in the classroom.” Hall showed her older students a couple of videos that prompted thoughtful conversation, she says. Read more.
What color is innocence?” asked a student in 11th grade as she drew pictures with crayons and markers. She and five other students were in English class when their teacher, Topher Kandik, told them to draw four images to represent four statements and phrases he said out loud. Later at the end of the activity, Kandik revealed that the phrases were the last words Black people said before they were shot and killed by police officers.
Schools around the country participated in Black Lives Matter (BLM) Week of Action in Schools. The week, which takes place during Black History Month, is designed to highlight institutional racism, Black history, and identity and social justice issues through lessons and conversations in the classrooms. Read more.
Maryland County Schools Start ‘Black Lives Matter Week Of Action’ To Encourage Pride Among Students
By Raychelle Muhammad | Published on 2/4/18 in INQUISITR
A predominantly-black school district in Maryland has voted to start the “Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools.” For the week of Feb. 5-10, 2018, students in Prince George’s County are being encouraged to learn as much as they can about social justice through a variety of instructional lessons and other activities. Considering the current hostile racial climate, students will be encouraged to talk about their feelings and opinions on the subject. Read more.
Maryland County Passes a Black Lives Matter Week of Action for All Its Schools
By Angela Helm | Published on 2/3/18 in The Root
The Prince George’s County school board voted unanimously on Friday to pass a resolution called the “Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools” so that the 128,000 students in the second-largest school district in Maryland will learn about and discuss the Black Lives Matter movement starting Monday... Read more.