This episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution is part of our ongoing coverage of Racism and White Supremacy in Ventnor Elementary School. A few months ago we had our first interview. with Ventnor mother Randi Alston. She recounted the story of how her 10 year old daughter came home from school one day and, was confused over a lesson on Harriet Tubman. The teacher told her “Some slaves wanted to be slaves”.
What should have been quickly resolved instead escalated. Lawyers from the school spent an hour interviewing the little girl and “making her feel like dirt”. New Jersey Revolution Radio organized the community to come together for the last school board meeting of the year to express this was unacceptable. The video filmed live at that meeting can be found here. This episode is a follow up to what has happened since the meeting, as well as possible ways to move forward. One of these possible steps is an Anti-Oppression training session to help the school board and community to deal with issues of race and systemic white supremacy. New Jersey Revolution Radio reached out to all members of the Ventnor Board of Education with the following letter
“Hello, I hope you have had a good summer. This is Heather from New Jersey Revolution Radio. I recently conducted a follow up interview with Randi Alston, and was sad to hear no resolution has been reached that allows her children to go back to school. I know talking about racial issues is extremely uncomfortable, and passions can run very high, but I also know you are all good people and would like to see all children feel comfortable in their school environment.
To that effect I would like to offer you a training in anti oppression conducted by a local leader from Black Lives Matter. It would be excellent if we could get you all to attend and possibly use a school facility to hold to training after hours or on a weekend once school returns to session. Please contact me and we can work together on solving this to the benefit of everyone.”
On Friday the 10th of August I received the following email:
Dear Ms. Warburton,
We received your e-mail offering to facilitate training on anti-oppression for the Board. The Board is planning its annual training on several subjects and will consider your offer. Before we can do so, please forward to us details about your program, for example, the curriculum, the length of the session and the identity of the instructors.
James E. Pacanowski II
Ventnor City Board of Education
Randi is still home schooling her children and asks for any tutors or anyone with homeschooling resources to reach out since it can cost thousands of dollars for her to home school her children in the coming school year. Listeners can reach out to us here at NJRR and we can put you in touch with Randi.