Wise HS

Inside PGCPS

Courageous Conversations: Embracing Social Justice in the Classroom and at Home

Courageous Conversations: Embracing Social Justice in the Classroom and at Home

  • By CEO Dr. Monica Goldson |
  • Inside PGCPS |
  • Team PGCPS |
  • For Parents |
  • In the News |
  • June 4, 2020

Dear Prince George’s County Public Schools Community,

I am overwhelmed by the response to my message reaffirming our commitment, as a school system, to empowering our educators to lead with equity, social justice, diversity and inclusion in the wake of recent racial violence against African Americans. The protests and uprisings of the last week have been hundreds of years in the making as racial violence against people of color by those in positions of power has gone unchecked.

Our classrooms are safe spaces for children to process their questions and emotions. At the same time, all staff members must be at ease with “courageous conversations.” Racial bias undermines our fundamental mission of outstanding academic achievement for all students and our work to eliminate achievement gaps among students of different races. 

Toward that end, we are undertaking the following:

  • This week, teachers were provided social studies lessons for all grades to help youth understand their role as changemakers. The course includes a brief video, discussion questions and learning activity. 

  • On Thursday, June 11, all employees will participate in a mandatory training on personal identity and implicit bias and how to refine the skills needed for conversations around race and equity.

  • This summer, I will facilitate One PGCPS, a system-wide employee reading program and in home movie screenings that further explores these themes with a related community movie viewing. I will also work with our curriculum team to ensure that teaching and learning reflects cultural diversity and inclusion at all grade levels. 

We encourage families to continue these conversations at home. The social studies lessons will be available for download on the Prince George’s County Public Schools website. The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and others have compiled reading and viewing resources to guide discussions about race, diversity, and racial and social equity.

These are small, but important steps as we aim to eliminate racial bias in our teaching, learning and working environments. I appreciate your continued collaboration in this work.

Sincerely,

Monica Goldson, Ed.D.

Chief Executive Officer