Hadley school board adopts anti-racism resolution

Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

HADLEY — A resolution in support of diversity, equity and inclusion, including a commitment to being welcoming to all and pursuing anti-racist practices, has been adopted by the School Committee.

The committee approved, by a unanimous vote, the Hadley Anti-Racism Resolution, which calls for Hadley and other communities to recruit and retain a diverse and culturally responsive teaching workforce, examine policies for institutional and systemic racialized practices, and incorporate into the school curriculum works and diverse perspectives of Black, indigenous, Latino and other authors of color.

“We must ensure that our own school culture and that of every district in the commonwealth is anti-racist, and commit to work to ensure that racism and hate in all forms is confronted and ended,” the resolution states.

The resolution also notes that “all lives cannot matter until Black lives matter.”

School Committee member Humera Fasihuddin was instrumental in drafting the language and has been leading efforts in Hadley to help parents and families understand the need for anti-racism work.

“We have a lot of pride and love in this community, and there are a lot of well-meaning people, who just don’t know, they just don’t know,” Fasihuddin said. “It’s our opportunity to help them understand other people’s perspectives, because if they knew, they would be doing things differently.”

Fasihuddin said the work will send young adults out in the world equipped with knowledge they will need to combat racism and hate.

School Committee member Tara Brugger said she supports the resolution and thanked Fasihuddin for getting the community involved in the program, observing that it will also help students who might leave Hadley uneducated and unaware on issues of oppression when they get to college.

“It means a lot as a parent you’re taking the time and taking the lead to get parents together to discuss this,” Brugger said.

One of the recent discussions led by Fasihuddin came following a community read of “How to Be An Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi and “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.