Bradford School welcomed Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad Thursday for a Conversation on Race with Bradford parents and staff members, as well as MSU faculty, district Restorative Justice staff, and Montclair community members.
Dr. Muhammad is a former Bradford paraprofessional who is now a Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. This event was made possible with the generous support of the Bradford PTA, and is part of an ongoing speaker series developed by the school’s Antiracism and Equity Action Committee. Dr. Muhammad discussed the importance of talking to children about race, among other topics.
In June, Bradford School held a school community conversation on parents’ experiences with racism at Bradford, and the Antiracism and Equity Action Committee was formed as a result of that important community conversation. Led by Bradford Principal Naomi Kirkman, the committee is comprised of staff members, parents, community members, and Montclair State University faculty.
“This is very active committee which meets twice a month, representing our school’s commitment to and urgency for this work,” says Kirkman. “There are many subcommittees engaged in important work examining school practices, equity in remote learning issues, and developing curriculum, professional development, and parent education opportunities. The parent education subcommittee has created a wonderful newsletter, The Bradford Voice, complete with information, resources, and student reviews of books featuring children from diverse backgrounds. We also developed surveys for staff and parents about their experiences with and perceptions of racism in our school community, and we are currently analyzing the results of the surveys to help us develop an action plan for becoming an antiracist school.”
For more information on Dr. Muhammad and the importance of holding conversations on race with children, you can view these two short videos featuring him: a Time Magazine feature here and a Bloomberg News feature here.