Black Lives Matter

This past week has been painful as we have heard from our staff, our partners, and the MCIE community about the emotions of grief, anger, sadness, and frustration following George Floyd’s brutal death at the hands of the Minneapolis police. We condemn all forms of racism and affirm our values for inclusion, diversity, and equity. Because of the racial inequities in our schools and society in general, we agree that we must call out: BLACK LIVES MATTER!

MCIE was founded on the belief that inclusion, defined as valued membership, full participation, and learning within a diverse community – benefits all members of that community. And when one member of that community is excluded, either because of racial bias or disability bias, then we cannot call ourselves “inclusive.” We believe that diversity results in greater understandings, increased acceptance, and the creation of a world where all kinds of people can live. Learning together to live together.

Across this country, data shows that in many places, African American students with disabilities are over-identified as having a disability, are placed in segregated self-contained classes away from their peers, and sometimes away from their neighborhood schools. Recent research from the University of Oregon found that implicit racial bias is a strong predictor of disproportionate Office Disciplinary Referrals for students of color and greater exclusion from school. This begins a legacy of discrimination, felt from childhood on. This is not a belief. It is fact. 

MCIE commits to continuing our work with school districts to change the practices leading to disproportionately negative outcomes for Black students. We will call out racial injustices that result in exclusion and hurt us as a society. We will research and promote curricula that address inequalities, including anti-racism. We will listen to and amplify the voices of Black and Brown students and leaders. We will design and deliver online learning workshops to promote school-based practices that reduce the likelihood that our African American students are labeled as disabled and removed from general education. And we will begin with our own introspection and engagement with our educational partners about how to dismantle the status quo. We will intentionally have conversations and educate ourselves by reading and sharing resources. We begin now.

Please join us in reflection of what we - each one of us - can do to create a world where each and every person is a valued member and is treated with equity; and where differences are respected and seen as a part of the whole human condition.
 
From Carol and the Board of MCIE