The Champaign Unit 4 Board of Education has unanimously approved a resolution declaring that racism is a public health crisis. What does that mean, excactly? You can read the full resolution, but in short, it aims to create oversight and plans for addressing systemic racism and inequities in education the students, hiring faculty and staff, and supporting people (and children) of color. In terms of timeline, the  "Board expects policy recommendations, as outlined in this resolution, to be brought forth within three (3) months for discussion and ratification; be it further resolved that the Board will evaluate district progress towards the goals above and will revisit every six (6) months, with its first evaluation to be held at the first scheduled Board meeting in January 2021."

You can watch the Board meeting here.

DATE:  June 26, 2020

Unit 4 Board of Education unanimously approves resolution declaring racism is a public health crisis

Resolution states the Board’s commitment to establishing, supporting and sustaining a culture of anti-racism districtwide

The resolution was approved on a 7 to 0 vote at a Special Board of Education meeting held on June 24, 2020. All seven Board members voted in favor of adopting the resolution.

Board President Amy Armstrong thanked Board members for their swift and unanimous work in adopting the resolution. "Collectively this whole board has such incredible strengths and we are united in our shared commitment to serve our students," said Armstrong. "I learn so much from each of you and I appreciate your hard work and commitment as Board members. Special thanks to Board members Dr. Gianina Baker, Bruce Brown, Elizabeth Sotiropoulos and Heather Vazquez for their leadership on this important resolution.”

Board Vice President Dr. Gianina Baker said "The Board recognizes that this is an urgent matter and needs to happen now. I hope this is a start in building trust especially with our black community and within ourselves, our teachers, our colleagues, and our staff."

The full text of the resolution is available here. Video of the Board meeting, including the many public comments that were made before the Board acted on the resolution, can be viewed at https://vimeopro.com/champaignschools/school-board.

Top image by Jessica Hammie.