There is no justice if you pull the knife of structural racism out just halfway and decide to let our community bleed from the harm of school closures that displace students and destroy our communities.
The OUSD Board passed most of the Reparations for Black Students Resolution last night by a majority vote, but lacked the courage to put an end to the racist school closure policy, delaying the full measure of justice to our Black students, but we will NOT be denied.
The amended resolution was passed with a Yes Vote by President Shanthi Gonzales, Vice President Sam Davis, Directors Aimee Eng, and Director Gary Yee. Due to the refusal of the board to continue language that would exempt majority black schools from closure during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Directors Van Cedric Williams and Mike Hutchinson, the original authors of the resolution abstained and voted no respectively. Director Cliff Thompson abstained as well.
Thank you to all of the students, parents, educators and allies who worked so hard to craft the resolution and push to get it passed as is. Although the Board did not pass the original resolution, we will move forward with this amended resolution which has the super majority of our demands within it.
The hard work of ensuring that the Resolution is actually and transparently implemented is still ahead of us. Together, we WILL continue fighting to protect our community schools from closure. Today, we have made history and we should relish this moment. We stand with Black Students! Thank you Oakland!
There is not one Black family in OUSD that hasn’t experienced the pain of anti-Black racism in our schools (such as bias, criminalization, low expectations, school closures, and push-out) – AND had to name specific solutions for their children to be protected from harm and supported to thrive. Now is the time to look at the solutions from the Black community and invest in the remaining Black students – so that every child can learn and achieve.
Over the past two decades, OUSD has closed 16 majority Black schools, forcing more than 18,000 Black students out of the district. In partnership with Black leaders calling for a greater investment in the Black community in Oakland and building off the Black Organizing Project’s recent win removing police from schools – we demand that OUSD create a multi-million dollar reparations fund and begin to invest in Black students and families to repair generations of harm.
The Reparations Resolution will ensure Black students get what they need to feel safe, healthy, and supported to succeed! The resolution includes the following demands:
We demand a new aspirational vision and a multi-million dollar reparations fund for the remaining 8,314 Black students in OUSD to thrive.
During the pandemic, Community Schools have become essential to Black families serving as hubs for much needed resources and support. A new deeper investment in the community schools model must center the needs of Black students and families and provide wrap-around services. To ensure that these schools center the needs of Black students and families we demand that OUSD: