BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Some people, including Dr. Fatima Morrell, are calling 2020 the year of the “twindemic” : COVID-19 and demands for racial equality.
“It just heightened the sense of let’s really, really begin to infuse the curriculum to teach all children how wonderful they are,” Dr. Morrell said. She is the Associate Superintendent for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Initiatives with Buffalo Public Schools.
As the school bell rang — virtually — this week for Buffalo Public School students, Black Lives Matter became a part of the growing curriculum out of Morrell’s office.
“America is kind of listening and engaged in this conversation and it really pushes our work forward as well what we had already started five years ago,” she said.
Morrell is tasked with curriculum infusion, promoting equity and bridging racial divides. She introduced the 1619 project and Brownies Literature into the classroom. Her latest effort are lessons relating to the 13 principles of Black Lives Matter.
“To not address it is just to me careless,” she said.
A group of 25 teachers, across all backgrounds and grade levels, worked together to infuse Black Lives Matter guiding principles into every day curriculum and resources.
“That’s what this curriculum is striving to do: dismantle systemic racism and oppression in our schools and in our communities,” Dr. Morrell said.
The district joins schools across the nation through “Black Lives Matter at School” to bring this curriculum to the classroom.
“I want our kids in 20 years to stand on the right side of history,” Dr. Morrell said. She continued, “Our young people will be able to say not only did I live through the twin-pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, but I also knew what it was and I was also one of the people that contributed to the change we see today.”