Updated: Dec 21, 2021
"When we address the disparities facing black people, we get a lot closer to a true democracy where all lives matter." Alicia Garza, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter
-Quoted on Page 6 of the SCEIRC Report Being Reintroduced December 21, 2021-
Mayor Tecklenburg and council are reintroducing something that has already been decided against by our city council. They are reintroducing the recommendations of Special Commission on Equity, Inclusion, and Critical Race Theory (SCEIRC) again, right before Christmas. These recommendations were ALREADY voted down 7-6 in August of this year just after the August 4th, 2021 meeting posted below. The timing is interesting with the turnover of seats that will occur in January placed through the votes during the November 2021 election of the city constituents. Many of whom are admittedly against fueling racism of any form in our city.
On June 9, 2020, Mayor John Tecklenburg and City Council voted to create the Special Commission on Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Conciliation. From June 2020 through August of 2020, Co-Chair Gregorie, Co-Chair Sakran, Ms. Amber Johnson, city staff and the Mayor focused on building the structure to support the commission's work. The team agreed to use the Avery Disparities Commissioned by The College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, funded by Google, as a foundation for its work. The report helped the team create subcommittees and the focus areas for their work. We started soliciting volunteers in July and August and by September we conducted our first meeting. Since September 2020, the subcommittee chairs conducted 68 individual subcommittee meetings and the larger commission met 14 times. -SCEIRC-
The team agreed to use the Avery Disparities Commissioned by The College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, funded by Google, as a foundation for its work.
The opening pages of the recommendations point out they are leading with race, "because racial inequities persist in every system across the country, without exception." They see a need to generate equity between all other communities. Harping on the fact that racism is the common denominator that keeps these communities from achieving their goals and is the foundation of policy. They also highly encouraging the City of Charleston to register with Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) who is partnered with Race Forward and the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley
WHY LEAD WITH RACE?
"The SCEIRC recommended that the city become a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity(GARE). As a partner member of GARE we share in their philosophy calling for governments to lead with race.
Leading with race is important to:
Foster maximum impact, focus and specificity. Strategies to achieve racial equity differ from those to achieve equity in other areas. “One-size-fits all” strategies are rarely successful.
Create a racial equity framework that is clear about the differences between individual, institutional and structural racism. It is also important for the framework to consider the history and current reality of inequities and the implications for marginalized groups. Identify race as an issue that keeps other marginalized communities from effectively coming together. An approach that recognizes the interconnected ways in which marginalization takes place will help to achieve greater unity across communities. 4 We lead with race because racial inequities persist in every system across the country, without exception. We can’t find one example of a system where there are no racial disparities in outcomes: Health, Education, Criminal Justice, Housing, and so on. Baked into the creation and ongoing policies of our government, media, and other institutions racism operates at individual, institutional, and structural levels and is therefore present in every system we examine. We also lead with race because when you look within other dimensions of identity — income, gender, sexuality, education, ability, age, citizenship, and geography — there are inequities based on race. Knowing this helps us take a more intersectional approach, while always naming the role that race plays in people’s experiences and outcomes." Page 14 - SCEIRC Recommendations
Here are a few take aways from the recommendations. You can read all of them HERE:
-Re-allocate police funds for more mental health awareness and. training
-Eliminate cash bail and bond system so that at the justice system is less bias
-0% interest on loans for black owned businesses
-$100 million in reparations
-Tax payers dollars will be needed to create and staff a department to support the SCEIRC recommendations.
-They would like to tackle climate change
-Racial equity training for all city employees including: CRITICAL RACE THEORY
-Invest in initiatives in local county schools: Such as implementing 1619 program and working with CCSD school board.
-Play an active role in supporting and acquiring teachers who understand Critical Race Theory.
From the YOUTH AND EDUCATION Section - Page 29
Support cultural competency work and changes to curriculum i.e. 1619 Project
2.) Bridge the gap in family and community engagement
3.) Official partnership with the Office of Family & Community Engagement
4.) Increase student participation in City of Charleston youth programming and recreation programs
5.) Incorporate remote location PODS for youth and families in need
6.) Participate in restorative practice training to be implemented in all City of Charleston programming
7.) Establish and support community schools throughout Charleston to better provide wraparound services that incorporate equitable practices
8.)Examine how public education is funded and advocate for changes to the existing funding formula in order to ensure resources and services are delivered in an equitable manner.
9.)Develop a more meaningful partnership with Charleston County School District and hold them accountable for the achievement gap and opportunity gap that continues to plague underserved Black and Brown students.
10.) Examine all forms of high quality K-12 public education to include charter schools and magnet schools and play a more active role in attracting and brokering partnerships in order to disrupt the cycle of poor academic outcomes
11.)Play an active role in recruiting and supporting high quality teachers who understand pillars of Critical Race Theory and by working with the Charleston County School District to provide more affordable housing options.
April 21, 2021 meeting:
"We want to be able to use terms like reparations and white supremacy loosely to be able to explain exactly what our mission is here." -Mr. William Dudley Gregorie-
August 4th 2021 Meeting:
"I am a big fan of this report.....I want this process to succeed so my comments that I am about to make is geared 100% in the interest in this work continuing and not being derailed. When I went through this report a few weeks there were a couple of voted down 7-6 in August of this year just after the August 4th, 2021 meeting. The timing is interesting with the turnover seats that will occur in January placed through the votes of the city constituents who are admittedly against creating racism of any form in our .
Ross Appel, who you might remember in August of this year, recommended to the commission that they change the phrase CRT to something else so that their recommendations do not create an aversion for the council members whose constitutes may not like the idea of incorporating CRT, reparation and race center inequality initiatives into our city and schools. They are trying to flip him. In August these recommendations were voted down.
This commission wants to achieve racial equity in our community.
We have got to beat Tecklenburg's CRT proposal again. This could end his political career!
Read the full report HERE
THIS TUESDAY December 21, 2021
80 Broad Street
WE NEED TO FILL THE COUNCIL CHAMBER
There is room for 80 people.
**You must sign in before 5:00pm to speak, sign up sheet is in the hallway. The mayor and city council meeting.**
Please also write your council member you can find your district HERE!
District One Councilmember **Open Seat**
District Two Councilmember Kevin Shealy
District Three Councilmember Jason Sakran
District Four Councilmember Robert M. Mitchell
District Five Councilmember Karl L. Brady, Jr.
District Six Councilmember William Dudley Gregorie
District Seven Councilmember Perry K. Waring
District Eight Councilmember Michael S. Seekings
District Nine Councilmember A. Peter Shahid, Jr.
District Ten Councilmember Harry Griffin
District Eleven Councilmember Ross A. Appel
District Twelve Councilmember Carol Jackson