RHS SPOTLIGHT: In Solidarity
Wed, Jun 3 2:42pm

SMORES Spotlight. https://www.smore.com/q2t76

 In Solidarity

Dear Redwood Heights Community, 

I wanted to take a moment and reach out to you all.

This past week I have had a range of emotions as I am sure many of you have had as well in witnessing the loss of Black lives - George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Aubry.  I am feeling anger about police brutality and the public lynching of George Floyd as the officer held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck while officers participated and did nothing to stop the mayhem and save Mr. Floyd’s life even when he said I can’t breathe and called out for his mother.  And yet despite these circumstances, I feel a sense of hopefulness knowing that millions of people are protesting through our nation, and the world saying enough is enough and that we must do things differently. The good news is that all walks of life and ethnicities are standing up against the atrocities of racism in our police departments. 

In this call to action, I am reminded of our commitment to social justice at Redwood Heights to ensure all students are treated equitably so that they feel safe and secure—physically and psychologically.  Many of you may recall, in the Spring of the 18/19 school year the Redwood Heights teachers, staff and I,  agreed to do everything in our power to end discrimination based on race, gender identity, disability, or expression at our school. As the principal, I take these matters very seriously.  Our goal is to be an anti-racist school because all students deserve to live and learn in the comfort of their own skin. To combat racism at Redwood Heights we will continuously consider how our academic resources, policies, and behavior management practices might be racist. We will continue to ask, Who do the practices and policies benefit and whom do they disadvantage? 

This is not a time for us to look the other way. Parents I am asking for your commitment to ending systemic and structural racism at Redwood Heights.  We must lean into each other and work from a place of love so that we can create a nurturing environment for ALL of our students to thrive. I welcome your participation in this ongoing process of self-reflection, community dialogue, and action.  Please feel free to reach out to discuss your questions and concerns.

To support us in this endeavor I am resending resources from our HUGS Counselor, Jennifer Wilson to support you in your process.

Please join us at our coffee chat next Monday, June 8th, 2020  @ 3 pm. 

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 812 0669 9452 Password: 544433

We are offering up this time for people that would like to come together, process what is going on in our nation, and think about what we hope for our children at RHS.

In Solidarity,

Cynthia Bagby-Ellison, Principal.

Resources for educators and parents:


Resources from Jennifer Wilson for educators and parents:


  • Raising Race Conscious Children

             Blog for parents and educators about raising kids to think critically about race


  • Re-Thinking Schools

             Great books for kids and adults centering marginalized voices Rethinldngschools.org

  • Race, the Power of an Illusion

             Interactive site and videos about the construct of race


  • Do Something-ideas for actions for older kids Dosomething.org
  • Conversations about Police Violence 


Resources about Whiteness and Anti-Racism:

  • Implicit Association Test implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html


Additional Training Resources:


  • Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Debbie Irving
  • Allan Johnson
  • Mab Segrest
  • James Baldwin
  • Tim Wise
  • Robin DiAngelo

Books for Kids

Books for grownups

  • Waking Up White - Debbie Irving
  • Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander
  • Dog Whistle Politics - Ian Haney Lopez
  • Born to Belonging - Mab Segrest
  • Privilege, Power, and Difference - Allan Johnson
  • Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways Authentic Relationships Across Race - Francis E.              Kendall          
  • The Hidden Wound-Wendell Berry
  • What Does It Mean to Be White in America? Breaking the White Code of Silence: A Collection of   Personal Narratives - Gabrielle David and Sean Frederick Forbes (Ed)



  • Eula Biss  “Let’s talk about Whiteness” on The On Being Project

Other Websites

             Quiz: www.newsreel.org/guides/race/quiz.htm

Let's continue to be guided by the Six Daily Questions:

Contemplate on the Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine from Published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

1. What am I grateful for today?

2. Who am I checking in on, or connecting with, today?

3. What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?

4. How am I getting outside today?

5. How am I moving my body today?

6. What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?

If you have any questions, compliments or concerns, email me at cynthia.bagby@ousd.org.

Be Safe. Be Healthy.