June 16, 2020

Avery Parents for Racial Equity

Zoom meeting

June 16, 2020

Those in attendance: Ashley Prulliere, Julia Maki, Lindsay Brand, Jennifer Patrick, Amanda Vader, Heath Borders, Al Creales, Kathy Simmons, JaNeeka Hutchinson, Danna Lippold, Christine Keller, Tracy Baden, Nytasha Taylor, Elisa Tomich.

This was our first meeting since early March. For the first 20 minutes or so, we shared how each of us are doing. We’ve been dealing with the pandemic, trying to manage kids and work and no school/camps. And then most recently, the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have served as a reminder of centuries of embedded racism that persists in our country and community. This has affected all of us in some ways. Everyone in the group expressed the desire to do more to build an antiracist community at Avery. We talked about ways to do that.

We discussed and decided to open up our study and discussion of How To Be an Antriracist to the greater Avery school community. Information will be shared via Facebook. Amanda volunteered to manage social media posts for this as well as our FB page in general.

We discussed our affiliation with PTO. Although we operate autonomously, we receive PTO funding and have collaborated on programming. Our page on the Avery website now reflects this. Concerns were raised that if our affiliation isn’t defined in the PTO bylaws it could lead to problems down the road. Elisa and Tasha will reach out to Heidi with ideas. 

Social distancing will change how our group operates for a while. We’ll meet in July and August over Zoom, and likely into the school year. We discussed using our page on the Avery website to provide parents with resources - places to take children and learn about Black history in St. Louis, for instance, as well as articles on how to talk to kids about race/racism, what to read, documentaries to watch, etc.

Tasha reminded everyone that we would like to start onboarding future leaders of this group. Tasha and Elisa both have rising fifth graders. While Elisa’s son has a couple years still at Avery, giving the group fresh leadership would be positive. If anyone is interested, please let Tasha or Elisa know! A transition would happen this coming spring.