GCTM is an organization that promotes a high-quality mathematics education for ALL students and seeks to honor and respect students and teachers of all races. As President and Executive Director of the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, we extend our sympathies to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and the generations of Black families that have experienced grief due to violence inflicted on them because of the color of their skin. We realize that providing a quality education includes: 1) acknowledging the injustices and inequitable practices that continue to exist against Black students and teachers; 2) acknowledging our role in perpetuating these injustices and inequitable practices by not advocating for others; and 3) taking action to address them. As an organization that supports students and teachers, we must be willing to have tough conversations and actively address racism and social injustice in schools as we advocate for our Black students and teachers.
While the themes of the 2019 and 2020 Georgia Math Conferences have focused on access and equity, we realize there is much more we can do. A few of the immediate actions GCTM is taking are as follows:
- Keynote and featured speakers for the 2020 GMC will speak on the impact of racism and white supremacy in the mathematics classroom. In addition, priority will be given to session proposals that address topics related to the conference theme.
- GCTM Executive Committee and the GMC Board are scheduled to attend the Teaching Tolerance Workshops Social Justice Teaching 101 and Facilitating Critical Conversations in September 2020.
- The Executive Committee will engage in a facilitated discussion about racism at our September 12, 2020 meeting and continue the conversations.
We encourage you to develop a plan of action for yourself and your school. A few potential steps that each of us can take are:
- Utilize the GADOE Math Equity site to gain information.
- Watch and discuss the recorded sessions from NCTM 100 Days of Professional Learning.
Register, attend and discuss the following upcoming sessions in the NCTM 100 Days of Professional Learning.
- Resiliency, Creativity, and Adaptations: Telling our Stories
April 1, 2020 7:00 p.m. EDT | Speaker: Robert Q. Berry III
- How We Move from Equality to Equity and Justice in Mathematics Teaching (General Interest)
April 23, 2020 7:00 p.m. EDT | Speaker: José Vilson and Marian Dingle
- Catalyzing Change Across All Levels: Opportunities and Challenges
May 26, 2020 7:00 p.m. EDT | Speaker: Trena Wilkerson, NCTM President and Robert Q. Berry III, NCTM Past President
- Building Agency, Fostering Identities, and Promoting Social Change via Social Justice Contexts (Grades 6–8)
June 9, 2020 7:00 p.m. EDT | Speaker: Marilyn Strutchens
https://www.nctm.org/100-Days-of-Professional-Learning/Select, read, and discuss one of many books to better understand race and racism and white supremacy and their effects in schools.
The following books were included in the article found at https://crawlingoutoftheclassroom.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/beyond-the-statements-doing-the-work-to-create-more-anti-racist-school-districts/amp/?__twitter_impression=trueWatch and discuss the interview with educator Jane Elliott, diversity trainer and human rights activist.
Participate in the fall GCTM Conference, “Access and Equity: Unlocking Doors to Empower Students.”
Keynote Speakers include Dr. Tamara Pearson, Dr. Juli Dixon, and Dr. Robert Berry. Featured speakers include Marian Dingle, Dr. Christopher Jett, and Dr. Aris Winger. Due to COVID-19, the conference will be virtual and FREE for everyone this year. Watch the GCTM website for details about the conference as they are finalized.
We know we do not have all the answers, and we know the journey ahead will be a long one, but we are committed to our Black students and teachers and we are committed to doing the work necessary to create equitable learning spaces for each and every student in Georgia.
2018 – 2020 GCTM President
Executive Director, GCTM