Dual Language Teachers, Administrators, and District Leaders:
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was murdered at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Derek Chauvin, the white police officer charged with killing the victim, kneeled on Floyd’s neck nearly nine minutes.
“I can’t breathe.”
Systemic racism in the United States, including police brutality towards Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color is a reality. It is fact. The protests following the killing of George Floyd are a reaction to the lack of substantive change that has taken place in this country to address the inequity between the global majority and those with white racial privilege.
“Please, the knee in my neck.”
Serving in schools, as a part of the system, we must acknowledge complicity. As dual language, educators it is time for critical reflection. Is sociocultural competence the foundation of all that we do? Does it guide all instructional decisions? If the program model specifically delineates that our students engage in their bilingualism and biliteracy journey via an equity and social justice lens, what have we done—or not done—to overtly dismantle systems of oppression?
“I can’t move.”
I must do better. We must do better. Critical consciousness must become a part of our daily vocabulary. We must go beyond multicultural nights and performative acts of inclusion. Dual language must be disruptive. It must be desmadre. It must be revolutionary. It is time.
I am so blessed to serve in the world of dual language. It is a community of the most kind and hardest working individuals I have ever met. You inspire me daily to be a better human being. I believe in us. We can do this.