Santa Barbara Talks Podcast: Wendy Sims-Moten Explains ‘Anti-Blackness’ in Schools | Local News

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Santa Barbara Unified School District school board member Wendy Sims-Moten talks about “anti-darkness” in schools and calls on the district to do better to make children and families feel safe.

“I’m drawing a line in the sand right now,” Sims-Moten says on the Santa Barbara Talks podcast. “But if we don’t do what we need to do, everything we can, right now to start doing what we need to do, you know it’s hard to do it, when will we ever do it? “

Sims-Moten first spoke publicly about how the district is handling accusations of racism, discrimination and anti-blackness at last Tuesday’s board meeting. She said racism in schools had to stop.

“In that moment, I felt so vulnerable and so exposed,” Sims-Moten said. “But I was no less committed to my belief in moving forward.”

In February, more than a dozen people, including the victim’s parent, told the council about a racist incident directed at a black student at Santa Barbara Junior High School.

Some members spoke on Tuesday night about a separate TikTok video in which black students were the targets of racist attacks. Several other incidents were reported to the district and council.

Members of Healing Justice SB and other members of the public have criticized the district and council for being slow to respond, choosing to tell families in the district about the violence only after being pressured at council meetings and to having erased the contributions of blacks. .

In the podcast, Sims-Moten talks about the term anti-Blackness.

“It feels like, from a black person’s perspective, you don’t really understand the supplement that happens when it perpetuates on a black person,” Sims-Moten said. “I can’t explain it, but it’s extra. And when you don’t call that extra part, it feels like it’s anti, like we’re invisible.”

She also answers questions about the cultural competency and anti-bias training the district was providing under an outside contract with Just Communities, and whether stopping that effort played a role in the current climate.

“At this point, we are revisiting the work on anti-bias,” Sims-Moten said.

This hour-long podcast dives deep into the issues facing the district and community.

Please subscribe to Josh Molina’s podcast and visit his website for more interviews and content.

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