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  • So you heard.

  • I am the member of Provincial Parliament for kitchen or center.

  • Prior to this, I was the director of Diversity and equity it Wilfred Laurier University.

  • Prior to that, I was a mommy of three.

  • And prior to that, I was part of a tradition that began in Nigeria and through the slave trade, landed in Cuba and from Cuba came to North America.

  • And when I am in particularly high and intense situations like a Ted talk, I like to sing a little song to ground myself.

  • So if you could just give me a moment, I'm gonna keep it together.

  • Food Who?

  • Hell.

  • Oh, back and head.

  • Heady Boo is handy Bassey.

  • So hey, hep c e o weo we'll go in issue can picture this 2018.

  • I have been the member of provincial Parliament for a whopping five months.

  • I get contacted and asked to come and speak at this amazing conference.

  • It's like 100 black students across Water Lee Region District School Board.

  • They come together for something called Black Brilliance.

  • I am there to bring provincial greetings so I get, like, all excited and I go in and it's all sorts of black folks, which, in case you're wondering in schools, is rare.

  • And I stand at the podium and I say to everybody, Hey, folks, I am your member of provincial Parliament for Kitchener Center.

  • I am the first black person elected at any level of government in Waterloo region.

  • You accept?

  • No, It's like you folks knew what I was thinking.

  • I actually stopped them like I'm going to stop you because this is 2018 and I am the first black person elected at any level of government in Waterloo region.

  • I actually said it, and I took in the applause, and then I stopped it and I went, Whoa.

  • So I took a year, you know, did work thoughts and battles back and forth Queens Park and here and was asked back.

  • So now a year has gone and things have changed at this point, as I'm coming to bring official greetings from the province, I'm doing so not on Lee as the critic for anti racism and the critic for citizenship and Immigration, But I'm also now the chair of the official Oppositions Black Caucus, and we have been spending time at Queen's Park fighting to make sure that the minister of education takes seriously examples of anti black racism that have actually made their way into mainstream media.

  • In the Peel District School board, I was exhausted the day that I was going to black brilliance.

  • I was actually on a Greyhound.

  • Next.

  • Ted Talk is about transportation in Kitchener.

  • So I'm on a Greyhound and I'm reading this report by Karl James and it's called We Rise Together.

  • And he has a number of quotes from students in the Peel District School board.

  • And this one quote is going around and around and around.

  • In my mind, it's agreed.

  • Seven Student who says that every single day that they go to school, they hear the N word.

  • Every single day they go to school.

  • They hear the end work.

  • You imagine going to work every day and hearing the N word so I couldn't get it off my brain.

  • As you can probably tell, that changes everything.

  • She had a screw up.

  • She has no script.

  • I walk into black brilliance.

  • I get up to the podium and I said to them, Look, I was just reading this article and I'm hearing this greed.

  • Seven.

  • Student and Peel is hearing the n word every day we're in Waterloo region.

  • How many of you here, The n word when you go to school and every single student raise their hand.

  • I was like, I'm overwhelmed like I am right now, and I paused and I said, How many of you have the n word directed to you at school and only half of them put their hands down.

  • I can tell you that I was taken aback, but I cannot tell you that I was surprised because during that year I had a number of people come to visit me at Queen's Park.

  • I had a group called The Parents for Black Children that came to speak to me and talk to me about anti black racism in the school system across Ontario.

  • I had been to Hamilton.

  • I was asked to speak at McMaster with high school and university students, and they told me about the experiences of exclusion that they were feeling at their schools and in their campuses, the lack of attention to their histories in there in the curriculum that they were being offered, and the kinds of interactions that they were having his black people walking down the street in their community.

  • And I have been blessed to speak to some folks from the Hamilton Center for Civic Inclusion who explained to me that because of the heightened attention to anti black racism in schools and Hamilton, they had begun a black youth mentorship program and they had gone into schools and started to do some anti black racism work with the students on their own, a community organization taking care of anti black racism in the school system.

  • But all of this was happening while swirling around me were more and more and more and more headlines of examples of racism in our school system.

  • In every single school board, it was popping up like wildfire.

  • You know, sometimes there's topics that don't make it into mainstream news.

  • Racism is one of those topics usually like one little story here, little corner.

  • Then you're done.

  • But all of a sudden we were living in a period where every single school board was feeling empowered enough to speak out about their experiences of racism.

  • Here's the thing I thought to myself.

  • Well, I'm in a position of power.

  • The member of provincial Parliament is a very powerful position.

  • Ted talks okay.

  • I'm in a position of power and privilege.

  • I have access to folks.

  • So I spoke to leaders.

  • I spoke to administrators.

  • I spoke to ministers.

  • I spoke to my colleagues.

  • Every single person assured me that racism was not welcome here.

  • Every single person.

  • So then I had questions.

  • Well, if racism isn't isn't something that's acceptable here, it's not welcome here than where the resources to stop it.

  • What are we actually doing on the ground?

  • To demonstrate to black, brown and indigenous students two black Brown indigenous educators to black brown, an indigenous superintendents and and administrators and staff members that racism isn't actually welcome here.

  • And I just wanna repeat that one little section because we spend far too much time trying to make white folks believe that racism isn't there and far less time trying to let black, Brown and indigenous students know that we think that racism is a crisis levels in our school system.

  • That's a problem.

  • To achieve racial equity and schools, we have to be willing to talk about the extent of the problem.

  • We have to be willing To be honest, we have to put down our guard and the pretenses, and we have to take seriously the experiences of racism that are being reported to us.

  • But there were two pickles.

  • The first pickle you may recognize.

  • If you don't see yourself among the teaching teachers, the staff members, the administration, you don't feel like you belong.

  • I would argue most people agree that that's the case.

  • Would you know, right?

  • If you don't see yourself in positions of leadership, you don't feel like you belong.

  • The second pickle is kind of interesting when racialized people are missing from decision making tables.

  • What we usually say is that the solutions don't come as easily right.

  • You want racialized people to be at the decision making table so we could be more creative about the solutions.

  • But I don't think that's the actual pickle.

  • I think the actual pickle is that if we are not present a decision making tables, nobody believes that the problem is even urgent.

  • That's the pickles.

  • So to help, I made a handy dandy chart when there's no sense of belonging and there's no sense of urgency to address racism, cycles of racial injustice continue in schools.

  • It's simple.

  • You don't feel like you belong.

  • Nobody thinks that there's urgency to address the problem so the cycles continue and continue and continue.

  • But wait, there's more.

  • Thes cycles don't happen in a vacuum.

  • Racism isn't happening in one little school over here, not even in one little school board over there.

  • Not even throughout just one little province.

  • You have clues about what racism looks like if you look further than just inside the walls of your schools right here in southwestern Ontario, in 2018 there was a report based on Statistics Canada Hate crime data.

  • There was a fevered pitch of hate crimes right here.

  • Southwestern Interior.

  • If that is the social fabric in which we're trying to educate our students, we can only anticipate that there will be a rise of racism inside those schools.

  • It's literally the context in which you are trying to educate people.

  • But there's there's hope, because also in that social fabric around us, we have elders who have been fighting this fight, who have been using the tools that they have available to them to address racism and meaningful ways.

  • So some of these elders have decided that as politicians, it's important to fight for, to use their power, to change things like the curriculum in our schools, to make the more inclusive, to make sure that people that look like me are reflected in positive ways in the curriculum, to fight for larger sort of provincial organizations that would be able to help schools to better understand how to approach anti racism work in a meaningful way.

  • But remember my handy dandy chart, No sense of belonging, no sense of urgency to address racism means that the cycles of racial injustice continue in schools.

  • This is the part when I think what we are accustomed to doing is hugging out racism.

  • It's hilarious to me, too, me and you hugging out racism.

  • What does that mean?

  • It means exactly what we do right now.

  • Racist instant occurs in school.

  • Statement Goes out, focuses on statement.

  • Racism isn't welcome here.

  • We don't like that we're inclusive.

  • We like different kinds of people.

  • Come here, different people.

  • Let me hug you.

  • But no time, attention or resources are put towards addressing the root cause of the racist experience that just happened.

  • Nobody's checking in with the students to see how they're doing.

  • Nobody's changing the curriculum to make sure that this is addressed.

  • Nobody's doing PT sessions to make sure that they actually do more than just diversity training.

  • Hey, this is off script.

  • But guess what we're gonna do.

  • We're gonna do diversity training ready?

  • Look around you.

  • There's different people, right?

  • Training done.

  • What's that gonna do that we have to do a little bit more?

  • And the reason we have to do more is because the people that need to see that we're taking this seriously are the black, brown and indigenous students in the school, the black, brown and indigenous staff members, educators, educational workers, administrators, superintendent's need to know that you understand that this is urgent.

  • There's ways that we can do it.

  • The solutions are out there, and they're actually plentiful.

  • Critical race.

  • Through theory, we could re one.

  • I felt very Jamaican in that moment.

  • I used to put a House parties when I was small.

  • So then I want to say Rewind Selecta because they said to me that I can see that and then they'll clip this part out.

  • This is just for your pleasure and I can make like a real sentence, and then when it goes out there, it will be like a real grownup was talking critical race theory?

  • Is this an educational strategy that takes the experiences of racism for black, brown and indigenous folks that are typically on the margins and puts its central in everything that you d'oh?

  • So when a teacher is going to go and find material to celebrate women, critical race theory will have them going find racialized women along with other women.

  • But make sure that you pay attention to that as well.

  • Critical race theory will allow administrators and educators to take seriously the examples of racial injustice that the students they're happening on the ground because you believe it.

  • It's happening.

  • But I don't want us to do critical race theory without also doing something else that is super cool, which is thinking about the intersectionality of all of the people that live here.

  • So it's similar to what I was saying before we're going to celebrate women.

  • I think we're actually doing a really good job of feeling comfortable and confident of addressing sexism.

  • We're doing less of a good job when it comes to reminding ourselves that white women are not the only women that live in the world thing.

  • And this is the moment where I know you're sitting at the edge of your seats.

  • How can I help?

  • How can I help?

  • There's only one thing that you need to do.

  • Mobilize her privilege.

  • There are students out here that are listening to this.

  • Talk to other students around you.

  • Go to a school board meeting Go was a collective and asked to do some of the fighting that I get asked to do.

  • They're black, brown and indigenous students that go to school, and they don't have a place that they could just hang out because when they hang out somewhere, somebody polices them and tell them they're too loud that they have to find somewhere else to go, that they're likely up to something.

  • So fight along with your peers and try and find a good space for everybody.

  • For the educators out there, think about race when you're building your curriculum, when you're deciding on what books to read when you're deciding on what speakers to heaven think.

  • Outside of the typical resources for administrators, ask for critical race theory as part of your professional development sessions.

  • In fact, everyone should do that as a parent.

  • Make sure that you ask what's going on to the professional development sessions, because I'd really like people to understand critical race theory.

  • And then once you've done that session, ask for a follow up session where everybody says, Here's what we've been doing Here's what's worked.

  • Here's what hasn't.

  • Here's where we need help and then just keep doing that and guess what their students out there that are already doing it so follow their lead.

  • This is an amazing class from Cameron Heights who were dealing with and learning about anti Semitism and decided to bring in the end Frank Traveling Museum and then opened it up to community.

  • And they were the guides that was happening right here.

  • We've got a new overrepresentation of black and indigenous youth in care.

  • One day, this group of black youth decided they were going to write a report, and they were going to make different members of provincial parliament and different leaders in their community, read the report and look at what happens to them as black and indigenous youth in care when they go to school.

  • I read the report.

  • Use it in your classroom.

  • Talk to your members of provincial Parliament.

  • They're not just available for photo ops.

  • They're actually supposed to be doing work for community.

  • So show up in their offices and demand that we do better go to protest.

  • I'm a mommy.

  • My daughters are in that picture.

  • Go with, um, students are asking for a indigenous led curriculum to be integrated into everything that they do at school.

  • So show up there and say, Yeah, I'm with you.

  • I think that's a great idea.

  • I could go on and on and on.

  • I have loads of pictures of places and people that have reached out to my office and said, This is what we're doing and have asked me to amplify their voices because they're fighting for racial justice in our schools.

  • But I also have three Children.

  • I showed you my daughters, and today I was practicing for this Ted talk, and my son came up to me and he said, It's not fair, literally.

  • It's not fair that the girls are in this Ted talk, and I am not So here he is Yep, he's bringing you one final thought.

  • The final thought is this.

  • Sometimes we think that old systems can't change.

  • The education system is an old system that, to be brutally honest, was actually based in some pretty racist things.

  • The last segregated school in Ontario closed in 1965.

  • We're dealing with a very long, sordid history of racism in Ontario.

  • But there's hope because Kendrick Lamar showed us that.

  • Do you know Kendrick Lamar?

  • Yeah, clap for Kendrick Theo.

  • Same year that I was being invited for the first time to speak at Black Brilliance, Kendrick Lamar was being considered his album damn for a Pulitzer Prize on award that was giving out for the first time in 1917.

  • And I guarantee, never thought that they would be giving it out to somebody like Kendrick Lamar.

  • He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music for his album Dam, which outlined the experience, the nuance and complicated experiences of African American men in this climate right now.

  • So I have decided if the Pulitzer Award folks can decide that Kendrick Lamar is worthy of such a prize, then we can change your education system.

  • No problem.

  • Let's get ourselves a Pulitzer, so I leave you with this.

  • You got this.

  • Talk about what's happening and call it what it is.

  • It's racism.

  • Support each other when somebody comes to you.

  • And they say I've had this experience.

  • This is racist.

  • You say?

  • Sure.

  • Okay.

  • How are we gonna fix it?

  • Remember that if you do not stand for something, you will fall for absolutely anything.

  • If you do not stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  • You're not gonna be ableto win by hugging out racism, my friends.

  • But if we invest and invest in education in a way that ensures that we take racism seriously as a crisis, we can and we will do better.

  • Said Hey, Booth.

  • Booth.

  • He he Oh, thank you.

So you heard.

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教育における人種差別をハグアウトするだけではダメな理由|ローラ・メイ・リンド|TEDxKitchenerED (Why hugging out racism in education just won't cut it | Laura Mae Lindo | TEDxKitchenerED)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日