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April 1, 2021

ASCD Stands with the Asian Community

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      The numerous cases of violence and racist behavior targeted at Asians and Asian Americans across the country has left us heartbroken. The rising occurrences of these acts of bigotry are creating heightened fears and concerns in our Asian communities. 
      As an antiracist organization, ASCD stands in support of our Asian educators, staff, and students, and against the violence, attacks, and discrimination exhibited against these individuals and the diverse communities they represent. We reiterate that every person deserves the right to safety and equal opportunity in this country and that we strive for an inclusive society for all.  We at ASCD continue to believe that our schools are the cornerstone for shaping a society that represents the best of these ideals. 
      To our educators, we invite you to utilize the following resources to address these difficult issues as we collectively do the work to dismantle racism at every level—individual, institutional, structural—and educate ourselves to do and be better. The resources also include materials that can help facilitate dialogue in classrooms and schools to cultivate a just and nonviolent society.
      Ranjit Sidhu, CEO and Executive Director, ASCD

      Dismantling Racism

      Interrupting the Extremist Pull (Educational Leadership)
      Educators have a role to play in helping teens resist white nationalist propaganda.
      It’s never too early to start building students’ comfort level to wrestle with topics like race, gender, and stereotypes.
      To support students of color, educators must understand the impact of discrimination and racism on mental health.
      We need to ensure that our teaching keeps up with our preaching about equity.

      Providing a Culture of Safety and Care

      School safety has become a top priority for principals. But are they taking the right steps?
      An interview with the 16-year-old sophomore and journalist on the Since Parkland project, which tracked nationwide teen deaths from gun violence.
      By recognizing layers of privilege and oppression, schools can become more affirming.

      Facilitating Dialogue

      Research shows that children can critically engage in conversations with thoughtful reflection, ideas, and questions.
      Educators can hang on to some basic principles as they negotiate issues around student speech in person and online.
      Advancing equity in our schools and society requires deep thought and honest conversations about tough topics.
      Grappling with tough topics strengthens students’ discussion skills, broadens their perspectives, and empowers them as civic actors.
      A secondary school English teacher shares ideas for pairing literature with supplementary readings and current topics so that students consider how identities intersect.

      Ranjit Sidhu's career has been consistently anchored in leading education nonprofits to enhance social impact and organizational growth. His work has focused on improving educator effectiveness with the intent of positively influencing student success, particularly for students from low-income families and marginalized communities.

      Most recently, Sidhu was ASCD's CEO and Executive Director. Prior to ASCD, Sidhu served as president and CEO of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) the national organization for the GEAR UP program. He also served as Senior Vice President at both the College Board and ACT where he focused in the areas of K12 and postsecondary education and workforce development.

      Early in his career, Sidhu was a high school social studies teacher in the Washington, D.C., and Prince George's County, Md., public school districts. He holds master's degrees from the George Washington University and the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor's degree from the University of Mary Washington.

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