This article originally appeared on The Seattle Times website and is reprinted with permission.
We see in our nation today the devastating repercussions of white supremacy and systemic racism practiced against communities of color for generations. It’s a grievous offense that our educational systems, which possess a duty to help every child achieve their full potential, often act as instruments to deny this opportunity to all.
As educators of color with decades of experience teaching and leading, we know that education is central to the elimination of racism in society and a more just future for all of us. Education can disrupt entrenched biases. It can amplify our communities’ stories of strength, and achievement and be a force for liberation and self-determination.
While there are many actions we can and should take at every level of our educational systems, the evidence is clear what our first priority must be: investing in a more racially diverse educator workforce.
Here in Washington state, half of K-12 students in public schools are youth of color. Yet only 11% of teachers are.