The Equity and Inclusion Committee recently completed a three-month comprehensive review of OASC’s programming and practices, which resulted in a seven-page document containing recommended strategies and action steps to move forward with. This document was then presented to the Student Executive Council and Adult Board this past weekend and will be reviewed by the consultant team for further guidance and implementation. For those of you who are interested in following the committee’s work, stay tuned for a new page on the OASC website that will include public minutes of their business meetings, the recommended strategies and action steps document, and a roster of the committee members. Lastly, it is with great gratitude that we thank all the members who served on the Equity and Inclusion Committee for sharing their time, energy, and lived experiences in their recommendations and advocacy. OASC is indebted to these incredible leaders for stepping up to create a more inclusive and accessible organization for our students, advisers, and member schools.
Committee Members: Kelsey Bowers (Co-Facilitator), Miles Palacios (Co-Facilitator), Amaya Addy, Raymond Arias, Matt Brown, Emma Dozier, Tony Fuller, Ali Herrera, Madi Montgomery, Isa Pena, Jessica Shanyfelt, Maida Tahirkheli
OASC’s Statement of Black Lives Matter (10/15/2020):
The Oregon Association of Student Councils, alongside a coalition of education organizations from across Oregon, including the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), the Oregon Education Association (OEA), the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA), the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA), the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), and the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts (OAESD), has signed a letter to stand with Black Lives Matter, as a civil rights movement that aims to combat racism and support Black individuals. This letter is meant to assert that racism has no place in our schools or society, to show that Black students matter in our classrooms, and to reinforce that it is a statement of love and acceptance.
As an organization whose purpose is to foster and support the next generation of young leaders in our state, it’s imperative that we take a stance affirming that Black Lives Matter and that our organization will not stand for any form of racial discrimination or injustice. We trust our students to lead the way toward a more unified and just future and our organization is dedicated to supporting that mission. Our support for the Black Lives Matter movement is not intended to generate guilt or shame for white students and communities. Little positive change can come from the negative space of guilt and shame. However, when we recognize that the current systems we live in are deeply rooted in history and were created to benefit some more than others, together we can take the necessary steps to rectify this long-standing injustice and dismantle systemic racism in our society.
OASC is proud to join the efforts of the Oregon Department of Education and our parent organization, the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators. We are grateful for their support of all of our students and of the mission to elevate student leaders across our state. It is our shared responsibility to make sure that our students feel seen, safe, and welcome in our schools and society, so they can fulfill their potential and achieve their goals, leading us to a better and brighter Oregon.