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THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION

The theological reflection this month is about the church’s call to address education equity.


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LEARN

Choose one or more of the following:

READ

WATCH

LISTEN

  • A Tale of Two Districts 30:07 (podcast) In many parts of the U.S., public school districts are just minutes apart, but have vastly different racial demographics — and receive vastly different funding. That's in part due to Milliken v. Bradley, a 1974 Supreme Court case that limited a powerful tool for school integration.

  • The Problem We All Live With (podcast) Right now, all sorts of people are trying to rethink and reinvent education, to get poor minority kids performing as well as white kids. But there's one thing nobody tries anymore, despite lots of evidence that it works: desegregation. Nikole Hannah-Jones looks at a district that, not long ago, accidentally launched a desegregation program.


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NOTICE

Choose one or more of the following:

  • Iowa Code requires that equal opportunity in programs is provided to all students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, socioeconomic status, disability, religion, or creed. 281—IAC 12.1(1), Iowa Code 280.3. Do some inquiring to find out what the barriers to participation in school programs might be in your area: cost, access, transportation for after-school activities, etc.

  • Iowa code requires nondiscrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, creed, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Title IX 34CFR 106.9 Section 504 34 CFR 104.8, Iowa Code 216.6. Find out what your district is doing to attract and retain teachers and employees of color.


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ENGAGE

Choose one or more of the following:

  • Find out if there are equity policies in place in your school district and what they are.

  • Look through your school district’s website for things like: disparities in suspension rates, graduation rates, gifted and talented programs, hiring practices for teachers and administrators.

  • What steps has your church community taken towards school equity?


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REFLECT

  • What stood out to you the most?

  • How are you feeling?

  • What action will you take?

  • Who in your family/community may want to take action with you?


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PRAY

God our Creator, you created humankind in your image, and blessed us with your love. Help us to show that love to one another as we work for equality for all races in education, housing, public services, and employment. Give us strength and courage to speak out against injustice, and to work for the transformation of unjust systems that keep some in bondage: that we may more fully live out your kingdom here on earth; through Jesus Christ your son, who came to set us free.” Amen.

From A Year of Prayers to End Racism