As we begin a new school year, the Connections community has a responsibility to reflect on our time apart. With numerous instances of police brutality and anti-Black rhetoric brought to light, we feel it is important and necessary to firmly speak out against racism in all forms. As advocates of human rights and educators of our country’s young people, we cannot be silent. There is no doubt that racism in America is pervasive. It touches every aspect of our lives. We have seen the negative and deadly consequences of it time and again and we are moved beyond outrage and into action. We understand that the enormity of the problem of racism in our country requires constant and steadfast work and a commitment to dismantling it at all levels.
Within our school community, we will continue to demonstrate that the first step to addressing inequality is to listen to the voices of those affected by it. We will take action in the form of increased professional development in the areas of equity and inclusion and form an anti-racism committee to get uncomfortable and learn together. And we will continue to emphasize the importance of empathy and critical thinking throughout our curriculum. We know a statement is simply not enough and thus we are dedicated to putting our words into action to create a better world.
Connections School of Atlanta, Inc. does not align with any political party and is not affiliated with any political organization. Our actions as a school community and approach to teaching social sciences are nonpartisan, unbiased and rooted solely in our value of promoting human rights.
The following is a sample of our curriculum- past and present- designed to highlight Black voices and stories, educate students on cultural differences, and teach empathy and critical thinking.
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton
The Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba
Participating in a mock trial
Creating their own political party
Researching political candidates and filling out an election ballot
Writing an original poem about labeling people
Reading essays by civil rights leader John Lewis
The Danger of a Single Story TedTalk
How Protest is Redefining Democracy Across the World TedTalk
I Am NOT Black, You Are NOT White YouTube video
Alike short film
The History of African Literature YouTube video
William and the Windmill documentary
The following is a list of resources and workshops that the Connections faculty are engaging with to put our beliefs into action. This list is only a starting point. We welcome any recommendations of literature, content and other opportunities to expand our thinking and guide us in anti-racism practices.
Autistic Black Lives Matter Virtual Panel- August 22
Inclusive Excellence 101 (Clemson University)- September 28
This session explores core concepts, current research, and best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Interfaith Literacy (Clemson University)- October 23
Intercultural Development Inventory (Clemson University)- October 28
The Intercultural Development Inventory is an assessment tool that measures skills related to intercultural competence – the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. This workshop will engage participants in a dialogue about culture, identity, the benefits of a diverse environment, and how the IDI can be used as a tool to enhance individual, group, and organizational inclusion.
THE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, COMMITTEE MEMBERS, EMPLOYEES, AND PERSONS SERVED BY THIS CORPORATION SHALL BE SELECTED ENTIRELY ON A NONDISCRIMINATORY BASIS WITH RESPECT TO AGE, SEX, RACE, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER EXPRESSION, AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION. IT IS THE POLICY OF CONNECTIONS SCHOOL OF ATLANTA, INC. NOT TO DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF RACE, CREED, ANCESTRY, MARITAL STATUS, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AGE, PHYSICAL DISABILITY, VETERAN’S STATUS, POLITICAL SERVICE OR AFFILIATION, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN.