By Idalia Alvarez and Jessica Osornio, Wayside summer interns and Richmond Public School Students who helped to organize the events described.
On Monday July 15th, two different causes joined forces at the school board meeting to fight against injustices. Groups from mainly Latino and African-American communities, came together to fight against school closings, segregation and discrimination in the schools. Each group supported the other in their demands and showed how communities can come together in solidarity with each other.
Students from Huguenot High School returned for a second time to demand equal treatment for all students, and for neutral interpreters. They also want threats against students based on their immigrations status to stop.
Students and parents want a welcoming and inclusive environment. Huguenot High School students also wanted the school board to know that they don?t accept the Multicultural Task Force (which formed in response to their protest) because it does not include the people directly affected.
The Richmond Coalition for Quality Education came to let the school board know that they want all schools to remain opened. They oppose Option C to? because that measure separates kids by race and they want segregation to stop in schools! They want schools to be more opened to diversity and integration of races. One of the kids present at the protest talked about how he doesn?t want to change schools because the school he attends currently is a good school and welcomes all students. A mother also decided to speak up for her child, and she demanded the schools to stay open.
At a press conference outside and during the public comment session inside, each group supported and amplified the demands of the other, making a greater impact than either could have alone. This is only a little of what can come from joined communities – Yet it still makes a big difference just by seeing how two groups that are the target of discrimination and oppression can still stand strong!