Sewing

Black Lives Matter

This post is for me, to remind myself in the future what impact the current news and events have had, not only on me but on people around the world. It is a post where I can remind myself of the intentions and promises I have made.

On the 25th May, George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis. Since then protests have been happening worldwide. But unlike previous Black Lives Matters protests, this time it seems to be having more of an impact. This podcast by RedHanded is a very good explanation of what has been going on.

To quote Anglea Davis

 

In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racistwe must be antiracist.

 

This quote, along with lots of other posts have been widely circulated on social media.

Although I think of myself as non-racist, I haven’t ever actively engaged with educating my self or doing things to enact positive change. But Anglea Davis is right, we need to anti-racist. So I need to make changes.

Step 1 – educate myself.

There have been several lists going around of things to watch for white people to educate themselves.

Step 2 – change my echo chamber

I have several social media account. Personal ones where I only follow friends and family. But I have several public ones including ones I run on behalf of my department at school.

What Katie Made Next – Instagram, crafting

SPS Engineering – Instagram, school

St Paul’s Engineering – Twitter, school

The crafting sphere of Instagram is very white and very female. I am actively trying to follow POC on Instagram to change my social media echo chamber.

For the school accounts, I am actively trying to follow Engineering related accounts that promote diversity or are owned by POC. So that it can be (especially on Twitter) be retweeted or shared.

Step 3 – take action

I am in a privileged position. I am a teacher in an independent school. I am also a Head of Department, so I am in a position of power and can lead my department to change.

We will be changing our wall displays to make sure that the engineering, inventors and designers represent a diverse range of society. It isn’t going to be easy, as the majority of history has promoted white men – so we will have to research and make sure that our displays are diverse. Pupils walk past these displays all the time. It needs to be normal to see a wide range of races (and genders) on them.

We will be looking at our curriculum and checking which engineering, inventors and designers we talk about. And whose work we use as inspiration for projects. We need to make sure that we have a diverse range of people and don’t just let the white male status quo continue.

We will be asking the exam boards to change the engineering, inventors and designers they ask us to cover in the GCSE. There are petitions already being started in the Design Technology community, which I have signed.

I will continue to talk about this with my tutor group, challenging their preconceptions. Asking them what they are doing to learn about this. But also making sure we listen to the experience of the non-white pupils in the group.

Personally, I will be trying to support more black businesses, especially crafting businesses. I will also think about which pattern companies I support as the big 6 have not been vocal about their steps to change. I will also be speaking out to challenge other peoples views.

 

 

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