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On PAR is thrilled to have played an important role in encouraging the return of an HBCU showcase for Arlington HS. We are so proud of  and grateful to our AHS administrators, House Principals Sharon Spencer and Deborah Bryant, and School Counselor Coordinator Michelle Hartman. Together we rise!

HBCUs interested in attending may register here.

November 8, 2022: Feature on “The Good Work Hour”

“Some people are truly ignorant to the fact that their words and actions and behaviors are these macro aggressions. And so, you have to just make sure that you let them know because some are willing to learn, some aren’t, but I think if we walk in each other’s shoes we are able to grow. But we first must have the open and honest and uncomfortable conversations in order to facilitate the change and the growth that must occur.” Nyhisha Gibbs

“I knew these things before but they are sitting differently with me now. One is that this work doesn’t get done unless you do it, or unless we do it. The institutions, for the most part, don’t just wake up one day and decide they are going to create these great anti-racist policies. It is a constant push, to keep them accountable, to keep ourselves accountable.” Eva Woods Peiró

Listen to the interview here and see our feature by John Jay College here.

November 8, 2022: School Board Victory

On PAR members spoke at the November 8th ACSD Board of Education meeting against the donation of pocket Constitutions by the organization Moms 4 Liberty, which has a history of racist and homophobic rhetoric as well as being an explicitly political organization. Allies from Defense Of Democracy and others spoke as well. You can find the recording of the meeting here, with testimonies from us and our allies starting at 32:56.

November 4, 2022: Community for Choice

On PAR member Curtis Dozier attended and spoke at the “Community for Choice” event on November 4th. The event was an opportunity to meet pro-choice candidates and share personal stories in a safe space. Abortion bans disproportionately affect communities of color, making reproductive justice an essential part of racial justice.

October 18, 2022: Statement

Our hearts are with the family of the student who tragically passed away last week.

With deepest condolences, the members of ON PAR

September, 2022: Racism & Identity in Dutchess County Schools

On Wednesday, September 21, 2022 from 6-8:30 PM we held an event at the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve about racism and identity in Dutchess County Schools! The event included tables from different anti-racist organizations across Dutchess County, a panel including various stakeholders, and the opportunity for people to take action in a variety of ways on a variety of issues in smaller groups (from running for the school board to in the moment actions on specific topics from discipline in schools to faculty representation).

Please check out this article about our event from Vassar College’s Miscellaney News. To take action on issues using the resources from the event, you can check out this link or go to: https://bit.ly/DCraceandschools-takeaction. Sign up for our email list to hear about future events organized by us and our allies!

March, 2021: My Brother’s Keeper Summit

On March 19, 2021, the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) group held a summit at Arlington High School. The purposes of the summit was included “Inight into the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative” and “Gain support from our local and global community members to provide mentorships, internships, guest speaking roles, and/or any other assistance deemed necessary to help us foster the young men of our program.”

The mission of MBK at Arlington High School is to “build trusting relationships between families, school, and community through empowerment and metorship focused on improving outcomes for boys and young men of color. Our vision is that all students and families will achieve their goals together, in partnership with the school and community. We endeavor to prepare high school graduates who are life-ready and prepared to succeed in their future endeavors.
 
You can watch and share the recording here or using this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG_U91iAeLg. ON PAR was very involved in brinking MBK to Arlington High School, and you can learn more about them here.

February, 2022: Cases of Racism in the Arlington School District

On PAR member Eva Woods wrote an article for La Voz, a Hudson Valley Hispanic culture and news from Bard College. Read (written in Spanish) here.

February 10th, 2022: Poughkeepsie Community Action Collaborative letter on the racism in Arlington school district

Thank you to our beautiful allies in the Poughkeepsie Community Action Collaborative (PCAC) who sent out this powerful letter on our behalf of children in Arlington schools suffering from racism. We thank the PCAC for their solidarity and for modeling how angry and righteous we need to be when any children are suffering from racism anywhere, not just our own backyard. All of our children suffer when some children are targeted by racism. Racism dehumanizes us all. That is why all of us need to be involved in dismantling it.

To Whom it May Concern,

The Poughkeepsie Community Action Collaborative, or PCAC, an organization representing and supporting the greater Poughkeepsie Community, condemns in the strongest terms possible the racial violence and terror in the ACSD that has recently come to light in the news. Having met with current and former black and African American students and their parents, we have come to understand that these events are neither new nor isolated, but instead represent a pervasive culture of prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and racism within the school district.

While it would be appalling and shameful to have a single definitive hate crime be alleged within a school district’s jurisdiction, the fact that there is no less than a coordinated series of violent hate crimes being committed against black and brown children, the definition of criminal conspiracy, when combined with the district’s unwillingness to take any semblance of what could be reasonably considered appropriate action, results in a categorical human rights tragedy.

The district’s documented history of disciplining students of color at hugely disproportionate rates, an appalling fact in and of itself, further compounds these matters. The PCAC calls on the district to conduct a full scale investigation, and, given the district’s past and recent history, encourages it to enlist outside and independent assistance in these matters. We also call on the district to immediately review and amend its policies relevant to the Dignity for All Students Act, for which current policy, procedure, and/or practice seem to fall within the range of severely lacking to non-compliant with NYS law, and further call on the board to encourage the development of, and subsequently approve and implement, a range of anti-racist curriculum. While the former is nothing less than a legal requirement, the latter is, given circumstances within the district, a common sense approach to providing dignity and proper education to all students, the very purpose of our nation’s and state’s public schools.

Sincerely,

The Poughkeepsie Community Action Collaborative

January 26th, 2022: “Racism in the Arlington School District and the 4H Program in Ulster County”

Listen to the episode here.

From the episode description:

Good Wednesday friends! Today at La Voz with Mariel Fiori is education and family day.

I spoke with Professor Eva Woods Peiró about the cases of racism that she has encountered in the Arlington school district and what is being done about it through the group that she has founded, OnPAR (Arlington Partners Against Racism).

 

January 24th, 2022: On PAR member Taneisha Means on Spectrum News: “Dutchess County Mom Wants End to ‘Culture of Racism and Bullying’ in [Arlington Central] School District”

Watch the video here.

From the report:

Means’ son, Javen, who is Black, was excited to start his first year
at LaGrange Middle School when he got on the school bus last September.
That excitement quickly turned into fear and anxiety after his first
week when he said a white male classmate attacked him.

“This kid, he said, ‘I want to pull those worms out your hair,’ and then he yanked on my hair,” Javen said.

LaGrange alumnus Barak Tucker said these attacks are nothing new.

“People would call me the N-word. People would make jokes about my skin,” said Tucker, who attended the school from 2015-2018.

After Tucker said he was pushed down a flight of stairs and punched
by white male students, his mother, Shona Tucker, noticed his behavior
change. She removed him from the public school system and placed him in
private school.

“He was becoming smaller and snarky, and just not the generous person that I know him to be,” Tucker said of her son.

Read and watch more: