6-7s Building Study: Progressive Education

Black Lives Matter and the Annual City-Wide Week of Action

Black Lives Matter and the Annual City-Wide Week of Action

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Black Lives Matter at School is a national coalition of educators organizing for racial justice in education.  We encourage all educators, students, parents, unions, and community organizations to join our annual week of action during the first week of February each year.

February 3-7 is the National Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, where educational and cultural institutions across the country will engage students and visitors with the 13 Guiding Principles of the Black Lives Matter Movement, as well as the National Demands. T-shirts are also available. Teachers and students across New York City will be wearing their t-shirts in a show of solidarity on Monday, February 3 and Thursday, February 6. 

Two years ago, Laleña Garcia, 5-6s head teacher, translated the 13 Principles into child-friendly language to support educators and parents of young children. Brittany Kaiser, a middle school art teacher in Brooklyn, NY, wrote the middle school language. This language is used in our Lower School, as well as nationally, as other cities participate in the Week of Action. Last year, a middle school teacher created language to support older learners in their understanding and discussion of the Principles. 

Teachers will be discussing the Principles and Demands with their classes, emphasizing that the Week of Action is a time when MCS is part of a community of activists across the country who are all discussing the same issues. We point out that the demands are essentially saying that all students deserve to go to schools more like MCS – places that have a diverse staff, allow for children to be children and to engage in the growth that is developmentally appropriate for them, and engage in culturally responsive teaching.

The Upper School will have lessons based on the 13 Guiding Principles, as well as the movement's National Demands. Upper School students are encouraged to attend and promote the rally at the Tweed Courthouse on February 6. There is also an opportunity for Upper School students to engage each other across grades to discuss these issues, including a special assembly with activist and filmmaker, Yoruba Richen. 

For more information about the Week of Action, check out the 2020 Getting Started Pack.