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Hastings RISE - Who We Are

Hastings RISE is a community-based organization that undertakes and supports educational efforts in the community to promote dialogue, action, community engagement, and continued learning about issues of racial, social, and economic justice—given the intersection of the virus, and racism, this work feels critical and profound.

What we advocate for: We advocate for a set of multi-pronged strategies for equity in our schools, including professional development for teachers focused on understanding unconscious bias and racism and increasing knowledge about culturally relevant and sustaining teaching strategies; protocols for the schools to communicate with the community about racialized incidents; hiring of diverse teachers to better reflect the community; increasing the use of culturally relevant and sustaining curriculum across the district; including ethnic studies in the required curriculum; supporting families and students in the district who may feel marginalized or experience racism or unconscious bias; and a deepened understanding of and attention to the experiences of people of color in the district. We underscore that these strategies are consistent with research on teaching and learning that is culturally responsive and sustaining, and with efforts around the country, including the New York State Department of Education’s culturally responsive and sustaining framework (NYSED, 2019), as well as with research on how institutions can become multicultural.

What we do: We work closely with the school district, especially with the school’s Diversity Coordinator, to help support and advance a set of goals related to improving and deepening equity and learning about race and anti-racist pedagogy in the district. We meet regularly with the district (for instance, attending the regular Diversity Committee meetings), we write grants and seek funding for community learning/workshops, we work to coordinate with the public local libraries, we help gather resources that reflect culturally responsive and sustaining curriculum. We aim to deepen this work, and welcome more members to help support the extension of and commitment to this work. We also work ourselves on our own racial literacy and learning of anti-racist pedagogy and engage regularly in our own professional development and courses and workshops--including a series of sessions with an anti-racist social justice educator last year, which we attended as a group, together. Who we are: We are a group of local parents and community member (we list our names below), many of whom are educators, whose work and personal commitments intersects with social justice, education and anti-racist efforts. We strive to be an organization that is multi-racial, and includes people across different economic backgrounds as well.

A note: all of us are either full-time at home or at work (or both), often in schools or educational institutions, and we are all doing this work voluntarily in addition to our regular work, so we may not always respond immediately to queries or questions. Unfortunately because this is a voluntary organization, we have no full time folks on board. We absolutely welcome any offers of support, assistance and new members! We operate by a steering committee (listed below) that advise and help guide our efforts and identify new directions; and an Education Subcommittee, focused specifically upon education efforts with the district and communities.

RISE Steering Committee Georgia Lindahl Lopez, Co-Founder Karen Hammerness, Co-Founder Amy Nichols, Co-Founder Glorianna Valls, Co-Founder Sajeda Amin Jennifer Angell-Greene Nanesha Nuñez Martha Polstein Sarah Rubin Genevieve Spruill

RISE Education Sub-Committee Afreen Alam Karen Hammerness Marit Haahr Lateefah Miller Amy Nichols Martha Polstein Sarah Rubin Joanna Steinglass June Wai


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