Discrimination and prejudice based on the darkness of your skin color is an issue that has had a long lasting negative impact on people of color, specifically African Americans and those of African descent. However, it isn’t isolated to only African Americans, Asian American and Latino communities also have historically discriminated along these lines.
Check out this new documentary coming out called Dark Girls:
With suspension and expulsion rates on the rise especially for young people of color in our schools, restorative justice is an approach our schools need to examine. As educators, we are looking for lasting solutions that will heal and teach our young people instead of punish and eject them out of our classrooms and schools. Check out these two videos:
1) First, from 2005 to 2009, the city of Oakland backed a restorative justice pilot project at Cole Middle School, in West Oakland, which was already slated to be shut down for low test scores. It was among the first attempts to implement restorative justice circles at a U.S. school.
By the final year, standardized test scores had risen by 74 points.
The school, which had suffered from a high turnover of teachers, retained all of its faculty.
And delinquency plummeted; suspensions fell 87 percent and expulsions dropped to zero. (taken from New American Media article)
2) Second, the Faifrax County Public Schools in Virginia, where I went to school, are expanding it to all middle and high schools in their county.
Watch this video excerpt from PBS’s series Race: The Power of An Illusion, the third episode called “The House We Live In” to find out more about how the GI Bill played a huge role with race and wealth in America. All three episodes are great resources.
Based on the poem, “Slip of the Tongue” by spoken word poet Adriel Luis and a Media Matters Festival winner, watch what happens when an Asian American teenage male tries a pickup line and realizes he got more than what he bargained for!