BLM Week of Action Highlights

BLM Week of Action Highlights
Posted on 02/08/2021

Last week, the district engaged in its first Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, a national initiative that focuses on racial justice and equity in the classroom. During the week classes focused on discussing and learning about Black history and culture, institutional racism, civil rights and anti-racism movements, and about how to take actions that will promote equity and fairness in schools.

Students across the district entered the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action t-shirt logo design contest sponsored by the Montclair Education Association in partnership with the MEA’s 8:46 Project (see more below). This year, an elementary school category was added to ensure conversations around race and BLM are happening among all ages. After receiving over 50 entries of students’ artwork, teachers across the district voted and determined the winners of the contest. Hattie Hudson-Plush, Grade 1, Charles H. Bullock (image below left) and Valentina Roever, Grade 7, Glenfield Middle School (image, below right) were revealed as the winners on Feb. 4 during a Zoom event that included educator/speaker Alfuquan Hardy who talked about the power of protest through clothing. 

black lives matter logo   black lives matter logo

Last year, the MEA challenged everyone to make greater strides towards the establishment of racial justice and equity and established “8:46” a project designed to support social justice. The 8:46 Project commits to working towards the eradication of racist practices and pedagogy within the Montclair Public School district and community at large. It strives to educate students, teachers, staff, and community members on the racial issues in education that continue to disproportionately affect Black and Non-Black People of Color within the education system and society. 

On Friday, Feb. 5, the week culminated with educators around the district wearing black or BLM gear. Below is just a sampling. 

teachers wearing black lives matter tshirts
Nishuane staff

teacher wearing BLM tshirt  teaching wearing BLM tshirt  teacher wearing BLM tshirt

teacher wearing BLM tshirt   teacher wearing BLM tshirt
Glenfield staff

Nishuane students were busy little activists throughout the Black Lives Matter Week of Action. This year Principal Jill McLaughlin and teacher Tara Wentzell created a primary-friendly curriculum that focused on “Children as Change Makers.” Each day during morning announcements Dr. McLaughlin and Assistant Principal Jazmyn Allen would introduce a topic (racism, activists, causes, etc.) related to the students being change makers. Afterward teachers facilitated activities on the daily theme. Classes also participated in a virtual field trip with the illustrator of Little Leaders, thanks to Art teacher Ivory Wise, created Black Lives Matter posters, learned about past and present African American activists, and staff dressed in all black to show solidarity. It was a week filled with empowering and enlightening lessons. Watch the compilation video for more highlights.

black lives matter poster   black lives matter poster

black lives matter poster

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