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Our names are Dr. Arlene Arias, Chantae Campbell and Robert Goodrich, and it is with great pleasure that we introduce ourselves as Radical Advocates for Cross-Cultural Education (R.A.C.C.E.). Our mission is to challenge systems of oppression by advocating for culturally competent educational practices.
Our decision to embark on this journey was fueled by a profound concern for and dedication to the well-being of our city’s youth. We believe the only way to achieve the greatest amount of change is to operate within a highly specialized framework dedicated solely to educational practices.
We realize there are myriad challenges facing Waterbury’s students; however, we have chosen to focus on areas that have the potential to achieve the greatest amount of positive change for students in the short-term. Our work will primarily focus on: (1) Minority Teacher Recruitment (M.T.R.)and Retention; (2) eliminating Exclusionary Discipline Policies from our schools; (3) improving student outcomes by increasing educators’ cultural competencies; and (4) developing and supporting parent and student-led initiatives that improve the school district in the ways they want.
In the future, we hope to galvanize the community, educators, and legislators around: school choice, enhancing curriculum to meet the cultural diversity of our district, providing educators with professional development that enhances cultural competency, and improving organized labor practices so that the greatest amount of culturally competent school professionals are hired and retained. We believe addressing these issues is critical to closing the achievement gap.
We believe these macro-objectives can only be achieved by partnering with individuals, school professionals, organizations, and legislators who are willing to aggressively challenge the top-down paradigms responsible for the educational dilemmas in the status quo. We believe our unique set of educational and professional experiences will allow us to build a strong foundation and position ourselves as a viable community partner.
Arlene, Chantae, and Robbie