As a youth/student that did all my schooling at the Salt Lake School District, I know the amazing opportunities that we do provide. However, I also know the opportunity gaps that currently exist that require institutional transformation and accountability.
As a community leader with my nonprofit Casa Quetzalcoatl, I engage with parents of our school district weekly. I recognize the potential our schools and district have if we only allow parents to lead. They must feel like schools belong to them and that they belong at the schools.
As an educator and founder of Machitia, I have become well versed in knowing and applying transformative frameworks like Disability Critical Race Theory, Biliteracy, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, Radical Healing, Critical Pedagogy, Proficiency Based Learning, and Decolonizing Theory to just name a few. We should make sure educators are always well equipped to know and apply transformative pedagogies.
Every employee of the school district from the cafeteria worker, after school group leader, custodian, bus driver, secretary, counselor, and district office worker should easily feel and be able to share their ideas to improve the school district. As a district, we should make sure any institutionalized oppression is proactively addressed.
As a community leader, I know that other community leaders in community councils, churches, sports teams, and local organizations should feel like the schools belong to them and that they belong in the schools. Everyone has a role in empowering the rising generations.
Civil society includes government and nongovernmental organizations. In alignment with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, we must partner with each other to reach our goals!