District: Hillsboro School District
Job Assignment: Teacher
Local Association: Hillsboro Education Association
Years of Educator Experience: 6
What are three ways you have actively elevated equity? I’m a member of the leadership team that designed and facilitates our Affinity Space for HEA members of Hillsboro School district. I am a part of the Equity Leadership Council for Hillsboro School District 1J. Our team has worked to craft Equity PD and other equity centered directives to help move our district forward on this equity journey. Last year we focused heavily on racial equity, addressing the inequities people of color face due to the inherent racism in our systems and moving to actively dismantle those systems. We still have a lot of work to do. I’m excited to see how we continue to grow as a district. I’m proud to serve on our Anti-Racist Anti-Bias Teacher coalition. This committee has been created by our local, Hillsboro EA, to actively seek out the racist and biased practices found within our organization’s bylaws and other systems, and to rectify them by creating practices that we believe are inclusive and uplifting to all our members across all aspects of identity.
What is your equity stance? I have long since considered myself a feminist. Even before I understood the definition of the word I have always carried a disdain for the mistreatment of the women around me due to the discriminative behavior perpetrated by men. I learned, very early on, that I could have a powerful impact on those behaviors by openly acting against them. What I have come to understand is that I hold that same vehement disdain for any behavior and socially constructed norm that seeks to marginalize people based on a part of their identity. Whether it is driven by fear, power or ignorance, I believe that behaviors that negatively discriminate against another person are inherently wrong. I believe in every human’s right to have equality and wholeness to live their human experience free from discrimination and bias. When I first became an educator I felt that I had to choose between being a teacher and being an active equity advocate. What I have learned over the years is that my ability to be an equity advocate in the public education domain is one of my most important roles as a teaching professional. There are many avenues by which to actively engage the work and it must continue until we no longer face discrimination because of our identity, but instead thrive in the fullness of our human experience.
What is your favorite social justice quote?
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." - Nelson Mandela
Can you share one equity focused resource or student read that you recommend?
This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell