Dear MCCS Families,
Every day I start my morning by giving thanks for being COVID free. The senseless and tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and so many others, makes being free of COVID-19 simply not enough. Like many of you, I am filled with hurt, anger, outrage, and heartbreak. Right now, we are living with a dual pandemic. Racism and anti-blackness are just as devastating as COVID-19.
Racism is not a new phenomenon, and is an everyday reality in the lives of so many families, including my own. White supremacy and anti-blackness have been a constant in this country since its founding, and are now visible worldwide, with collective anger and outrage spilling over into the streets in the form of protests. I join the many who see this moment as an opportunity to stand up, speak up, and stop the pervasive perpetuation of racism, anti-blackness, and white supremacy.
I have received many messages of unity and solidarity from those of you expressing your own outrage, heartache, and despair. To those of you who are feeling angry and appalled, I thank you and encourage you to find a way to translate those feelings into action.
While we are all focused on protesting racism from state sanctioned police brutality and the criminal justice system, as the Head of School at MCCS, I have a responsibility to make sure we are reflexive and commit to doing the necessary work to root out racism in our interactions, communication, relationships, curriculum, pedagogy, and the decisions we make on a day-to-day basis. This commitment requires engaging in difficult but critical conversations to help us examine our practice so our programs are safe and nurturing healing spaces for our children and families. I look forward to being in conversation, sharing readings, and connecting with you as we move forward.
Standing up and speaking up!
Debra L. Brown, EdD.
Head of School
Mills College Children’s School
This list is not exhaustive and we will continue to update it as we come across other resources.
Dear Mills Families,
First of all I want to start by introducing myself ( something I don’t think I did enough when we were physically at Mills.) I’m Kimberly Aceves-Iñiguez, member of the Mills PFA. My wife Carmen and I are proud mamas to Mateo Colibri Aceves-Iniguez (2nd grader) and Santiago Quetzal Aceves-Iniguez (Kindergartener). As a queer Latinx familia we chose MCCS because two years ago when we came to the campus we felt the possibility to build deep and meaningful community with other families. Both Carmen and I come from a long history of educational and racial justice organizing work in the SF/East Bay and MCCS seemed to hold the possibility to reimagine education and how families could become key partners in developing next generation leaders committed to justice, equity and liberation. Our belief has always been that MCCS could be a place to not just build academic proficiency, but more importantly, proficiency around being loving, caring, anti-racist community members who learn to love and care for one another.
If the past few months have demonstrated anything it’s that in order to create this vision of a school community it takes both individual and collective intentionality. It can’t be work held only by teachers and administrators, or even just a few parents, it must be a whole community approach. As we look ahead to a school year that feels unpredictable, I do believe that we have an opportunity as MCCS parents and families to use this moment to build and grow a coordinated and organized parent community. I believe that we can deepen our commitment to addressing anti-Black racism, I believe that we can deepen our commitment to creating intentional spaces to address community needs during moments of wide-spread trauma and stress, I believe we can be stronger partners to teachers, and I believe we can build off of our community’s strengths in order to build and grow MCCS.
As part of our commitment to building an inclusive, anti-racist learning community PFA parents pulled together a summer education list: MCCS PFA: Summer Education List. The education list offers a set of tools for supporting you and your family wherever you are on the continuum of anti-Black racism work, it is also a space that includes specific healing supports for Black families. This is clearly not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. If there are additional resources you would like included please email myself (Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org) or PFA parent Elizabeth Gettelman Galicia (email@example.com). We also have created a MCCS Parent Solidarity Google Group for current families: MCCSparentsolidarity@
Finally, I want to extend my love to everyone in the Mills Community that is hurting, struggling, trying to find reprieve, dealing with economic insecurity, impacted by health disparities, and overwhelmed by white supremacy and the persistent and daily impacts of racism.