Dear Richfield Students, Families, Staff and Community,
By all counts, 2020 was a profoundly significant year on many levels. Not the least of which was the heightened awareness of racial justice issues and the institutionalized/structural racism that remains present in our country. From the killing of countless men and women of color at the hands of police to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, it is a time for reflection and reckoning when it comes to race in America.
As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, we want to take time to explore what it was he stood for, how far we as a society have come, and how far we have yet to go. At Richfield Public Schools, we want to be part of the solution—part of helping to realize Dr. King’s dream: that his children and children everywhere “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
For the past few years, staff in the Richfield Public School District have participated in ongoing training on equity. Equity is a term that is often misunderstood. In Richfield Public Schools we recognize that equity means that every child is empowered and inspired so that they can achieve their dreams. We also recognize that systems of racism have often robbed BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) and many other groups of historically marginalized people of the same opportunities often given to white people. Our role as educators is to dismantle these systems and provide equity to all people.
We believe every child has the ability to succeed in school and in life. We believe that we must provide opportunities to succeed and that we must actively address and remove racial stereotypes and racism for these opportunities to occur. Children must see themselves for their potential and not through the lens society may try to place on them. We, as a district and a community, are committed to being part of the solution, not the problem. We are actively striving to approach all of our work through an equity lens including policy review, data analysis, staffing, program design, curriculum selection and countless other areas to make sure that all students receive a quality education and are inspired and empowered to truly excel. Most importantly, we are committed to ensuring that each of our students, regardless of race, has a personalized connection with the adults in our schools where they feel honored, respected and supported.
On this day, January 18, 2021, as we remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we ask you to honor his legacy with us as we commit to trying to live his words to the best of our ability: “The time is always right to do what’s right.” Let us continue to improve, continue to provide equity for our students, continue to dismantle racist systems that do not serve our children and continue to commit to a better tomorrow for our students and families.
Richfield Public Schools