The Maine Association for Middle Level Education believes in empowerment of young minds and bodies. We also believe that to empower adolescents we must provide them the voice to battle injustices in our world. Our middle school students are our hope for a more equitable future, and the current events of George Floyd’s murder and additional racial oppression alongside the COVID19 pandemic remind us of that dire need.
MAMLE stands by the African American community yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We are committed to ensuring that our professional development and instruction incorporates true culturally sustaining pedagogy, not just a highlight of African American activists during Black History Month. Black history is OUR history, and racial oppression is EVERYONE’S fight.
We believe that middle level teachers and administration have a powerful and critically important voice during both the racial and health pandemics. These are voices of mentorship, leadership, and, ultimately, humanity. These conversations are difficult, but they are necessary. No longer can we stand silent. No longer can adolescents be “protected” from these conversations.
We stand with George Floyd, Armaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. We stand by our Black communities, colleagues, and students, who are grieving during this dark time. We see you. We hear you. We are with you.
Katie Rybakova, Ph.D.
Executive Director, MAMLE