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File #: 190092    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 2/7/2019 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 2/7/2019
Title: Declaring February 2-11, 2019 as "National Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action" in the City of Philadelphia.
Sponsors: Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Johnson
Attachments: 1. Signature19009200


Declaring February 2-11, 2019 as “National Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action” in the City of Philadelphia.


WHEREAS, The roots of Black History Month can be traced back to 1926 with the establishment of Negro History Week and it has since grown to a commemoration recognized and celebrated throughout the country; and


WHEREAS, The Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action started in Philadelphia, and was inspired by a day of action in 2016 when educators, students, and families in Seattle came to school wearing shirts emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter: We Stand Together”; and


WHEREAS, This 2018-2019 school year, thousands of educators committed to social justice will participate in the national week of action in over 30 cities including Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and beyond. Many will wear Black Lives Matter shirts to school and teach lessons about structural racism, intersectional Black identities, Black history, and anti-racist movements; and


WHEREAS, The Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action has four national demands: to end “zero tolerance” policies, and implement restorative justice; to hire more Black teachers; to mandate Black history and ethnic studies in the K-12 curriculum and anti-racist training for all educators in Philadelphia; and to fund more counselors and fewer school police officers; and


WHEREAS, Schools are community pillars that should promote equity, build understanding, and facilitate active engagement in creating pathways to freedom and justice for all people; and


WHEREAS, Research shows that the use of culturally-relevant curricula and the teaching of ethnic studies may significantly improve student attendance, grade point average, and completed credits; and


WHEREAS, As Paulo Freire argues, teachers do not merely deposit information into students passively. Teachers, instead, are in a liberatory dialogue with their students to rethink and reimagine the world we live in, thus engaging in a process that allows students and teachers to work together and address issues of inequality and injustice that their schools and communities face; and


WHEREAS, The week of action takes place amidst persistent efforts by teachers, students, parents, and community members to advance justice and fairness in their schools and communities. These coalitions have notably led the charge to confront cuts to school funding that disproportionately deprive Black students of essential services. Their advocacy has restored counselors and nurses in schools, reformed disciplinary codes and implemented restorative justice practices, and secured supportive services to address student and family trauma; and


WHEREAS, There are thirteen guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement highlighted during this week of action: restorative justice, empathy, loving engagement, diversity, globalism, queer affirming, trans affirming, collective value, intergenerationality, Black villages, unapologetically Black, and Black women. These tenets are a means of challenging the legacy of institutionalized racism and oppression that has plagued the United States since its founding; now, therefore, be it


RESOLVED, That the Council of the City of Philadelphia, Declares February 2-11, 2019 as “National Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action” in the City of Philadelphia.