Milton Anti-Racist Coalition shares 2020 year in review
To our fellow coalition members, MPS and Milton community, local school and government leaders, supporters and allies:
As this new year begins, we are sharing a “2020 Year in Review” to summarize what we’ve accomplished together, and share some thoughts about what lies ahead in 2021.
2021 presents unprecedented challenges and opportunities for advancing antiracism in Milton. As a coalition, we will confront the challenges ahead with resolve, and tirelessly pursue new opportunities to transform Milton Public Schools into an exemplar antiracist, excellence with equity educational system.
While 2020 viscerally amplified the profound racism that plagues our schools and community, it also brought unprecedented organizing around issues of racial justice in Milton. These problems are not unique to Milton, they reflect 2020’s public grappling with two pandemics: systemic racism and the novel coronavirus. While many other communities chose not to mobilize and organize in response to these pandemics or imagine how to pursue local transformation, we are proud to be in a community where this is exactly what we did.
What we’ve accomplished together:
There was significant activity to advance antiracism in Milton throughout 2020, motivated by many different individuals and groups across the community. Some highlights of what we accomplished together in 2020:
- We formed the Milton Anti-Racist Coalition, a coalition of over 400 (and growing) parents and educators dedicated to antiracism and excellence with equity in Milton Public Schools
- MARC established nine groups that work together to steer the work of the coalition: The MARC Strategy group, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) Parents, BIPOC Educators, White Parents & Educators, School to Prison Pipeline, Youth Voices, Racial Justice, Political Organizing, and Educators Advisory Group
- MARC developed an MPS reform platform, “Time to Reimagine” that was signed by over 400 coalition members, and publicly adopted by MPS Superintendent and School Committee
- Milton Public Schools fulfilled two early goals of the MARC platform:
- Established a new position and hired a Senior Director of Educational Equity, Somaly Prak-Martins
- Hired an external consultant, Cambridge Education, to conduct a districtwide quality review and audit with an equity and antiracism lens ● MARC coalition members participated in the MPS Anti-Racism Action Team (ARAT), with Ms. Zakia Jarrett named MARC liaison and ARAT Co-Chair.
- MARC has become an established racial justice advocacy and advisory group in Milton with influence on district decision-making
- MARC has led numerous calls to action organizing citizen speaks and letter campaigns, and a consistent presence of BIPOC parent voices that inform School Committee policymaking
- One call to action resulted in over 3 hours of personal testimony from BIPOC parents about experiences of racism within MPS
- MPS leadership and School Committee elevated its focus on antiracism and equity, demonstrating increased awareness, and increased attention to equity and antiracism in public discussions, positions and policymaking
Thoughts on What Lies Ahead in 2021 (and beyond):
There are many areas of activity on the horizon in 2021 that will call for the involvement of community members to advance antiracism and equity in Milton, including:
- Local elections for School Committee and Town Meeting in April 2021 ● The selection of a new permanent Superintendent for the Milton Public Schools ● Responding to the outcomes of the districtwide quality review and equity with an antiracism and equity lens
- Community visioning with new MPS Senior Director of Educational Equity ● Return to school year 2021-2022 planning
In 2021, MARC looks forward to continuing to work with MPS district leadership, School Committee, principals, school DEI committees, MPS ARAT, Citizens for a Diverse Milton, Equity and Justice for All Advisory Committee, and other community organizations. The Milton antiracism coalition has never been stronger, and the work of all of these groups, and every member of our community is required to build the more beautiful and just community we seek for every child in Milton.
In solidarity and with hope,
The 2020 MARC Strategy Group (Farah Assiraj, Winston Daley, Beverly Ross Denny, Vanessa Foster, Erin Hardy, Zakia Jarrett, Régine Jean-Charles, Scott & Meg Matthews)
Email: [email protected]
MARC Mission Statement
MARC is a coalition of parents, educators, and community members whose mission is to advance racial justice in Milton. We embrace an intersectional approach to racial justice that takes into account gender, sexuality, class, and all parts of identity. Our goal is to hold the school district accountable for implementing anti-racist, excellence with equity education, and to take action to address bias and inequity in MPS by organizing locally. MARC seeks to empower community members and parents, in particular BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) parents to advocate for the needs of all children in MPS.