Kingston’s school district recently adopted an anti-racism resolution geared toward “creating truly inclusive environments” for its students. The district vowed “it will continue those efforts to eliminate racial disproportionality and support initiatives to end systemic racism and provide equity in everything the district does for its students and families,” read a press release.
The resolution comes in the wake of sweeping changes and acknowledgement of racial inequities from academia and elsewhere in the wake of nationwide protests following the late-May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “Whereas we honor their memory best by faithfully serving our communities of color and standing against all the impediments of prejudice and racism,” the district also pledged to “recognize our role in addressing social inequities in the world, country and in our own school district, and we pledge to explore ways to ensure and increase equity.”
The Rev. James Childs, Sr. acknowledged the significance of the resolution being adopted during a meeting of the school board meeting held on June 19, or Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Juneteenth has since become a national celebration.
“It’s appropriate that it’s being done on Juneteenth day, a day of jubilee, a day of celebration, a day of great expectation,” said Childs during his final meeting as a trustee; Childs opted to not seek reelection this year.
Steven Spicer was credited with bringing the resolution to the school board, and he expressed his gratitude to his fellow trustees for not only supporting the resolution, but also turning it into a true group effort. Suzanne Jordan said that the resolution was truly the collective intent of the board and district.
“I think we’ve worked very hard in many different ways to try to fight against the systemic racism that we know is there, and the disproportionality,” Jordan said. “I think that recognizing it was the beginning …. It was so important that Steven [Spicer] brought this to us, and I was so impressed that the entire board contributed and made it so pitch-perfect so that it really reflects what the true spirit was behind it, and also be purposeful and intentional.”