GA community rallies for truth, diversity & inclusion in education

“We are here because our education is under attack by some politicians,” a student organizer shared at the education rally.

Students and community members gather for an education protest in Atlanta. (Credit: theGrio)

Dozens of students and community members came together to protest at an education rally in Atlanta on Thursday morning. 

They called on the Georgia State Board of Education to stop censoring the way history is taught in schools and to stand up for diversity and inclusion.

“We are here today to lift up the voices and stories of our students, our educators, our parents, and education advocates and experts because it’s essential that those voices, our voices are centered in how Georgia’s curriculum is developed,” said Kevin Shanker Sinha, a community organizer and founder of CivicGeorgia

Sinha, along with other organizers, called on both state and local Board of Education members to work with advocates to ensure that students across Georgia have a fair and just education. 

“We are here today because justice in education looks like all of us learning and teaching honestly about our historical and present societal challenges with racism and discrimination,” Sinha said

CivicGeorgia, Students Against Sonny, Students For DEI, Teachers for Good Trouble, Georgia Youth Justice Coalition, Voice of the People, Co-CreatED, Atlanta Korean American Committee Against Asian Hate Crime, members from the Gwinnett County School Board were among several grassroots organizations who voiced their concerns.

“We are here because our education is under attack by some politicians,” said student organizer Alex Ames. “We are here because we as students, the next generation of Georgia’s leaders, deserve the truth, real history, and free speech. We deserve better than what the people upstairs are telling us.”

Ames continued to commend fellow students and young leaders who have been active and outspoken in protecting education in Georgia. 

The passionate group also walked into Governor Brian Kemp’s office and a Board of Education office to hand-deliver a one-page summary highlighting a petition with comments and feedback from concerned Georgians.

The petition has collected about 7-thousand signatures as of June 17. 

While efforts to protect education in Georgia started long before this summer, the Board of Education recently passing a resolution against teaching critical race theory in classrooms added fuel to the fire. Community members continue to speak out against what they call a racist attack on education.

Teachers and advocates also attended the rally in opposition to the recent resolution passed. Organizer Claudine Miles of Restore More, which fights for education equity, spoke with theGrio about the importance of standing up for students.

“I think teaching history accurately with historical sources is incredibly important for kids,” Miles said.

She’s also involved with Atlanta Coalition for Educational Equity and stressed the importance of teachers being involved. 

Students and community members gather for an education protest in Atlanta. (Credit: theGrio)

“This is really important to us,” Miles said. “Educators deserve to have insight into what’s being taught and this resolution, as is currently, is banning things without full context of what’s actually happening in schools.”

The educator emphasized the significance of teaching history in an accurate way.

“It’s so that our students are educated, so that they can be culturally relevant, so that they can have critical perspectives and engage in dialogue and these are the people we need to be fostering, not individuals that are told exactly what to think and how to behave,” Miles told theGrio. 

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