The School District of Philadelphia Equity Coalition will be hosting a virtual social justice summit titled “For Philly, By Philly: Leading, Teaching and Organizing for Equity” Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
“What better way to host our inaugural social justice summit than on the day we’re honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Sabriya Jubilee, chief of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for The School District of Philadelphia.
“We were very intentional in connecting our social justice summit with Dr. King’s fight for social justice during the Civil Rights Movement,” she added. “We’ll be using elements of his work and his quotes to help uplift and build the community in this time frame.”
The summit, which will be from 9 a.m. to noon and is open to the public, will have a series of panels that will cover everything from culturally relevant teaching and equity protocols and framework to community partnerships, social emotional learning and wellness and relearning history.
Each panel will be composed of two to three panelists that will talk about how their work and research connects to their particular topic.
“We have a diverse group of panelists, some who are School District of Philadelphia employees who are doing off work in their offices, to community advocacy groups, to individual researchers, and scholars,” Jubilee said.
“At the end of our day, we’re going to do an affinity group convening where we’re asking participants to join a particular group based on a shared identity,” she added.
“In most cases, it will be either connected to race, ethnicity, gender, or some other way that folks may identify and it’ll be a way for them to kind of talk through in the in the community fashion around what they’ve experienced today, what they’ve heard, how it resonates with them, and and what that may mean for future connection and community group and advocacy work,” she added.
In the summer of 2020, the Philadelphia school district sought to become an antiracist organization and end discriminatory policies and practices. The district created an equity coalition, which is composed of staff, teachers, parents and community members.
The coalition’s mission is to provide organizational leadership and structure needed to redesign a more equitable school district by uprooting policies, deconstructing processes and eradicating practices that create systems of privilege and powereer with the school district community and workplace.
“One of the initiatives of the equity coalition was to create an opportunity and space where we could really elevate those who are within our community,” Jubilee said.
“That includes the school school district, organizations, community groups and individuals who are doing work around equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, social justice for the Philadelphia community and specifically The School District of Philadelphia,” she added.
Jubilee said she wants attendees to leave the summit knowing what they can do to advance opportunities around equity.
“I think it’s important that people know and understand that within our city, we have folks who are really digging deep, and wanting to advance the work of equity, to think more intentionally about what it means to be anti racist as a city, and then particularly as a school district,” Jubilee said.
“I hope that people will take away from this an opportunity to identify where they fit in that mission, and what they can do and their own locus of control to continue to advance this opportunity for equity and uplift the mission of antiracism,” she said.
“This could also be a space if individuals are in need of support, or want to know how they can connect with other people or get resources, this should also be a space where that sort of exchange can happen.”
To register for the summit, visit www.philasd.org/dei.