Posted: April 20, 2021

Wow, what a beautiful weekend.  I hope you’ve been able to enjoy it.  I wanted to share one of my highlights from last week.   We had another community equity forum with about 50 participants.  Although I miss the in-person forums we’ve had in the past, zoom has helped us engage more people and amplify more voices.

This forum focused on Asian Pacific American Heritage month and also the increased acts of hatred and violence towards the Asian American Pacific Islander community.  If you haven’t had a chance to attend an equity forum in the past I strongly encourage you to prioritize an opportunity in the future.  The forums are planned with the help of staff, students, and community members led by Dr. Williams.  Each forum is unique, and each has the common thread of listening, learning, and care.  Tuesday’s forum was a great example.

We watched a short video together and engaged in dialogue (Daniel Dae Kim testifies before U.S. Congress about Anti-Asian hate in America).  We had a student, parent, and community leader as part of our panel discussion to discuss experiences and opportunities for us to do better.  We can do better, and we need to do better.

Our student panelist, Kate Staddon, shared about the importance of equity conversations and the toll of hate, racism, and violence.  “This conversation is important to me, because I believe as a society we’re actually at a great turning point that I don’t think we have seen thus far in American history in terms of social progression.  A lot of unfortunate incidents have lined themselves up and ignited something in the American people, and I think that the next steps of American politics will change the future of the US and that everyone needs to be behind a cause that they care about, because as we all know and as how Daniel Dae Kim so eloquently laid out that these politicians are not going to lean towards these progressive politics on their own so we need everyone here pushing and quite frankly begging for these politicians to do something.”

As a white, heterosexual male, I take so much for granted.  I make so many assumptions.  I am grateful for opportunities like the equity forums where students and so many others share their experiences.  Those experiences drive me to keep considering other perspectives, do better, to take an advantage of each opportunity I have to make a difference.

This is a big week for us in Camas.  Thank you to our secondary staff for their preparation in moving to four days of in-person learning.  It means a lot to our students and our collective community.  You have all done such an amazing job.  Thank you.