This picture was taken at an elementary school during a “Coaching professional development,” and it represents structural racism. I’ve recently learned to evolve my view of racism beyond intentional bigotry to include the pervasive ways in which white privilege sustains the dominant culture. Having all white female leadership in a predominantly African American school isn’t a product of intentional prejudice, but it is likely tied to our tendency to be drawn to others like ourselves with similar views and styles- thus, sustaining white privilege and structural racism.
To address this, I can be a voice for diversity in hiring more diverse teachers and promoting diversity in leadership both for my own school and where my children attend. Perhaps my backing out of leadership, though for other reasons, creates space for others to move into that position. Additionally, we all can seek out diversity in our work spaces, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will make our workplaces stronger and better for it.