Regina Elmi is the executive director of the Somali Parent Education Board. Ann Ishimaru is associate professor of education at the University of Washington. The authors wrote this piece along with 10 other African American, Somali, Latina and Vietnamese parent leaders from the Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Highline and Seattle school districts.
Thousands of families and caregivers in King County are anxious as schools operate online. In recent months, we’ve experienced the devastation of COVID-19 and a summer of reckoning with anti-Black racism sparked by the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake.
We also see racial inequities deepening in our schools. As difficult and heartbreaking as this time has been, many families in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) communities have been mobilizing and finding creative ways to support and educate their children.
We challenge educational systems to consider: What might