While it might be a relief to see one issue addressed, the reality is that there have been persistent problems with diversity and inclusion in Piedmont that will not go away without further action. This is the time to capture our public swell of support for tolerance and diversity and direct it toward lasting change, rather than only responding to individual issues that arise.
The good news is that community leaders have already begun taking steps to promote anti-bias and inclusiveness. City Council members approved a resolution reaffirming Piedmont’s Commitment to Inclusivity and Opposing Actions of Hate Groups. The Piedmont Unified School District offered anti-bias training and classroom curriculum to the administration, faculty and staff; and opened the training up to city staff and community leaders as well. However, if we want lasting change to occur, we all need to take action at the community level. Our leaders speak for us at times, but we must also speak for ourselves, and to each other. Here are a few steps you can take, which we at the PADC believe can help our community directly:
- Join PADC, and donate to our campaign #PiedmontStandsUp to provide community programming, including anti-bias, diversity and conflict resolution training for school leadership and staff; as well as general diversity and inclusion programs for civic staff, parent leaders, and the general community. Our General Meetings are usually on the 2nd Thursdays of the month; drop us a line to RSVP.
- Talk to your kids openly and often about issues of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and how those issues are addressed in our community and schools. Help them understand the importance of speaking up when someone says something hurtful or ignorant.
- Continue to be involved civically; the City Council is listening, and they want your input. The City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 120 Vista Avenue. Attend those meetings, bring your kids, and voice your opinions.
- Get involved in a parent group -- and speak up as these issues come up in our community -- especially in our schools. In what ways are we welcoming (or not) people to our city and our schools?
- Engage in conversations and actions in social, faith or community groups you already participate in -- civic engagement is a continuum that extends beyond our public spaces.
- Attend & support the Appreciating Diversity Film Series (which screens films in both Piedmont and Oakland), and join in post-film conversations.
- Join and donate to other parent groups that promote diversity and inclusion, including the Piedmont Asian American Club (PAAC), Piedmonters for Resources, Advocacy & Information in Special Education (PRAISE), and others.
- Look for upcoming opportunities to participate in community programming that supports and promotes diversity, inclusion and anti-bias.