The initiative is sponsored by the Caucus of Working Educators Racial Justice Committee, and was planned before the results of the election, said parent organizer Tamara Anderson.

“This is a chance for our students, teachers, parents and community organizations to search for the causes and symptoms and actively work toward sustainable solutions,” Anderson said.

The week aims to take action at eliminating outcomes derived from racism in public education.

Once a teacher in the district, Anderson noted the city’s 26 percent poverty rate and dwindling numbers of African-American teachers, despite 50 percent of students in the district that are Black and 20 percent Hispanic.

“What better way to bolster those numbers or to talk about it?” said Anderson, who daughter attends Hill Freedman World Academy School. “We thought, how can we make this something that really encourages deep conversation?”

Black Lives Matter, BLM, Philadelphia School System, Philadelphia Teachers, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Black Lives Matter, BLM, Philadelphia School System, Philadelphia Teachers, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people. BLM regularly organizes protests around the deaths of black people in killings by law enforcement officers, and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.

In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter became nationally recognized for its street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown, resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in New York City.

Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody, including those of Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Jonathan Ferrell, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose and Freddie Gray. In the Summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter began to publicly challenge politicians—including politicians in the 2016 United States presidential election—to state their positions on BLM issues. The overall Black Lives Matter movement, however, is a decentralized network and has no formal hierarchy or structure. (Wikipedia).

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