Tag Archives: Alexis Mburu

The Need for Mandated Racial Equity Training in Schools

by Alexis Mburu and Eva Herdener

What happens when those tasked with teaching also need to be taught? Our education system has always had to adapt, whether in regards to who was allowed in the doors or how we kept them safe. And we can always find ways to improve the quality of education students are receiving — especially regarding race and equity. 

As two members of the NAACP Youth Council, we spend a lot of time focusing on working towards racial equity in the education system. One of our group’s key issues is the need for mandated racial equity training in schools. We are youth currently in the education system. Most of us identify with one or multiple marginalized communities and we have seen firsthand the damage done to students due to the ignorance of those who are “authorities” inside schools. Racial equity training is one way we can help ensure the system we rely on for our educational and social growth is a safe place for all of us. 

Continue reading The Need for Mandated Racial Equity Training in Schools

OPINION: The Liberation of Knowing History

by Alexis Mburu

They say we have to learn our history so as not to repeat it. While I do believe the saying to be true, we must think beyond this sentiment in our current age because there’s a lot more to history than what we read in books. 

In the past few months, we have seen a massive insurgence from Republican politicians pushing to ban critical race theory from K-12 schools. These pundits and conservative Republicans describe critical race theory as anti-American rhetoric, racist and abusive, and teaching their children to hate their skin color; all of which are not true. In fact, critical race theory (CRT) is not even taught in K–12 schooling and there is a large misunderstanding of what it actually is: a tool in upper academia, specifically in law school, used to analyze the U.S. legal system and its intersection with racial oppression. Instead, the term has been used to represent the idea of anti-racism being taught to students and the seemingly more rage-inducing topic of teaching a true, non-whitewashed portrayal of this country’s history. 

Continue reading OPINION: The Liberation of Knowing History

Why We Need Black Lives Matter at School in 2021 — and How to Get Involved

by Alexis Mburu

Three years ago, if you were to ask me what the Black Lives Matter movement meant to me, I’d have given what I would now consider a lackluster answer. This is because three years ago, I was a seventh grader with a limited grasp on my identity and the world around me. Now, Black Lives Matter is a movement that holds so much weight it’s hard to imagine a time when I was so inattentive.

The 2017/2018 school year was the first year I participated in a Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action at my school in Tukwila, Washington, and it felt like a whisper. There was no energy or enthusiasm by the teachers I had because they were just doing what they were told,  going through the motions with slides that were provided by anti-racist teachers with real passion, ones who educated and liberated their students all year round — teachers who saw the necessity in decolonizing the education system one step at a time, and, for the most part, knew how to. I was lucky enough to know such a teacher: Erin Herda, who has been teaching ethnic studies for years, despite endless push-back.

Unfortunately, the experience of only getting to have the necessary conversations, read the important books, and be taught true history if you have the right teachers is all too common. 

Continue reading Why We Need Black Lives Matter at School in 2021 — and How to Get Involved