For 23 years I have had the privilege to work with the youth of Santa Barbara as a music teacher and a therapist. I have witnessed the emotional effects of racism and sexism that permeate the culture of this country. Here in Santa Barbara, young women are sexually assaulted on our high school campuses and brown and black youth are targeted by police.
Although white privilege can blind us, it is irresponsible and naïve to believe that systemic racism does not continue to wreak havoc in our community. We need to take steps to put an end to the injustice.
There is a white supremacist group running candidates this election. They are attempting to mislead the community disguised as Impact Education.
I am proud of Santa Barbara for coming out in the thousands supporting the Ethnic Studies high school requirement and the Black Student Union protest. It was beautiful to see the community supporting the youth as they spoke up for equity and inclusion in our educational system and requested mental health services.
There is a small group of white supremists who speak at school board meetings attempting to undermine the progress we have made toward eliminating the achievement gap for students of color. These same people are behind the Impact Ed candidates. I urge the community of Santa Barbara to stand with the youth and vote for the incumbents, Wendy Simms-Moten, Jackie Reid, and Laura Capps for the Santa Barbara Unified School District board. They have proven themselves to be aligned with our youth’s voices. Please spread the word and do not be fooled by the Impact Ed propaganda.
Let us stand strong and united in our effort to continue this journey toward Liberty and Justice for All!