Dear Madison Families,

I’m pleased to share that we are partnering with the Madison PTSA Racial Equity Team to show the film RACE to Be Human to all Madison students during grade level assemblies on Tuesday, March 14th. Students will debrief with teachers during Advisory on Thursday, March 16th, when they have the opportunity to reflect on, discuss their ideas and ask questions about topics raised in the film.

A parent volunteer will also lead a Found Poetry activity during lunch on Wednesday, March 15th, where students can use art to make connections to their own lives. Additional follow-up includes opportunities for students to discreetly report microaggressions they have witnessed or experienced firsthand through a new system co-designed by members of the Madison staff and parent Racial Equity Teams, as well as members of the Students of Color Union.

Created for schools, communities, and corporations, RACE to be Human addresses the apprehension and confusion so many of us feel when it comes to talking about race and racism. The 46-minute IndieFlix documentary uses the power of student voice to explore racism, its impacts on the mental health of children and adults, and what can be done to change it.  The film shares micro-stories to define commonly used terms we all use when talking about racism. The film delves into the effects of race and racism on individuals and our communities with:

  • Candid interviews with kids and teens, who discuss their experiences with race and racism, and its impact on their lives and relationships.
  • Expert perspectives on the history, present-day occurrences, and effects of racism. Essential definitions and guidelines that help create safe spaces for cross-cultural dialogues about race and racism.
  • Discussion around allyship, as well as what action and accountability may look like to start shaping a more inclusive and equitable society today.

The  PTSA is also investing in the important racial equity work at Madison by purchasing a year-long subscription that gives teachers, staff and parents access to the full length film, plus the companion Creative Coping Toolkit, an online film-based learning platform with curriculum and resources to facilitate healthy conversations about race both in the classroom and at home. The program includes strategies and tips to check ourselves and others while inspiring self-reflection so that as individuals, we are more aware, and as communities, we can move forward more equitably.

I have attached the At Home Discussion Guide so that parents can connect their student’s learning with conversations about the film at home.  Parents can also preview the film (either the trailer or the full length film) via the Race to Be Human Dashboard (note: you will need to create an account to login but your information will only be used to track internal usage metrics).

The PTSA will also be hosting a community screening of RACE to Be Human at Madison on April 4th from 6:00-7:30pm, followed by a panel discussion facilitated by the SPS Department of Racial Equity Advancement (DREA).  We invite you to save the date and join other Madison families for this important conversation about race.

Please reach out to me or the Madison PTSA Racial Equity Team with any questions about the film.

Thank you for your continued partnership to make Madison a more inclusive school, Where Everyone Belongs!

In Community,

Dr. Gary

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