“You’re either a racist or you’re anti-racist; you actually have to be action-oriented,” she said.
Important steps include learning about the history of racism in America, bringing more Black and minority voices into the decision-making process, moving away from counterproductive punishment of students and intentionally affirming students’ cultural identities, Iruka said.
Iruka thanked Learn to Earn for not shying away from addressing racism head on.
“We will keep talking about our Black kids and we will keep doing a better job of prioritizing and supporting our Black kids as we go forward,” said Robyn Lightcap, the executive director of Learn to Earn Dayton.
As part of the virtual conference, Learn to Earn unveiled the design for a permanent art and play installation. The 400-square-foot piece designed by the Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton will be installed this spring at the Omega Community Development Corporation’s Hope Center for Families, an educational, health and employment center being built in Northwest Dayton.
Conference attendees got mosaic tiles shipped to them ahead of time and were asked to write messages of hope on their pieces and send them back.