Racial equity and justice

From the desk of Dr. Avis Williams

As the leader of Selma City Schools, a black woman and a mother, I believe in the movement Black Lives Matter.  I believe in antiracism.  I believe in racial equity and justice. 

On behalf of our school district, we are outraged by the systems that have allowed countless black men and women to be killed at the hands of the police.  We want to ensure that our scholars, families and the Selma community understand that Team Selma unequivocally supports our teachers, leaders, staff and scholars.  We aim to do so in an environment focused on social justice that is free from systemic racism.

Topics such as racism, racial justice and white supremacy are often uncomfortable to broach in mixed racial company.  Even for those of us who are socially conscious and culturally competent, delving into these topics has been rare.  Until now.

It has been amazing and refreshing to see the racial diversity of those involved in the recent protests.  Acknowledging racism and the ideology of white supremacy is a step in the right direction.  To truly understand the depth of hurt and mistreatment of blacks and other people of color throughout the history of our nation, we must be willing to face many uncomfortable truths that led us to this point.  Slavery, red-lining, Jim Crow and Bloody Sunday to name but a few.

As we move forward, Team Selma will continue to engage with our community.  We look forward to a continued partnership with the Selma Center for Nonviolence.  Stay tuned for details of a virtual Chat and Chew to allow our youth and others to have a safe space to discuss racial equity and justice.

Additionally, Clark Elementary School will open this fall as the Clark Elementary Social Justice Academy.  Through project-based and service learning, our scholars will have many opportunities to find and use their voices to have a positive impact on our community. 

All of our school leaders are beginning to research restorative justice and Selma City Schools is embracing restorative practices as part of our student discipline procedures.  R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy has paved the way for this work.  Hudson and Selma High both hosted numerous restorative justice circles during our last school year.  We look forward to extending this practice to all or our schools and to the Selma community.

Finally, equity is a core value of Selma City Schools.  We will continue to seek ways to remove barriers and provide a wide variety of opportunities for our scholars, teachers, leaders and families. Team Selma is committed to pushing forward and establishing an environment where racial equity and justice are the norm.

Kindest Regards,

Avis Williams


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