By Davis Phoenix Coalition
The Davis Phoenix Coalition would like to join the growing chorus of voices expressing disappointment in the DJUSD Board. On July 2nd, the four members appointed a replacement to fill the seat vacated by Dr. Cindy Pickett, who was serving as president and brought a qualified and thoughtful voice from the perspective of a person of color to the leadership collective.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the national conversation that ensued around institutional lack of justice and representation for BIPOC, it seems incongruous that the education leaders of a city that prides itself on its progressivism and inclusion would not ensure its education leadership reflects the diversity of its students by appointing this vacant seat to a highly qualified POC. Especially given that one such person did apply and made it to the final selection. It should be noted that DJUSD reports that 47% of its student population is non-white. Whether unconscious bias or a lack of understanding of this moment in social justice, the decision made by the remaining board members failed to widen their collective leadership with a voice to ensure more of our diverse demographics were fairly represented. This matters because in order to prevent the perpetuation of systems with one-dimensional standards, administrator(s) themselves must bring depth and diversity.
The Davis Phoenix Coalition’s mission is to engage and unite the Davis community in eliminating intolerance, preventing hate, and promoting a broader civic culture that embraces all aspects of our diverse community. We invite everyone to reflect deeply on who the voices of our leadership are and work actively to confront our own unconscious biases when exercising the great power of the vote, choosing our representatives carefully so they reflect as many voices as possible as are present in our diverse community. Only if we do this will we nurture a multi-dimensional framework that impacts our students every day of their education, planting the seeds of eliminating intolerance, preventing hate and promoting a broader civic culture that embraces all aspects of our diverse community.
Editor’s note, the Phoenix Coalition asked to add:
DPC, in expressing our belief that the commitment to diversity when choosing from an equally qualified pool, neglected to note that Bob Poppenga was the lone dissenting vote. We thank him for this thoughtful decision. It is voices like his that bring systemic change.
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