Fort Bend ISD students form coalition aimed to erase racism and discrimination

Charly Edsitty Image
Thursday, October 1, 2020
FBISD students form coalition to erasing racism and discrimination
ABC13's Charly Edsitty explains how these current and former Fort Bend students are working to make a difference on their community.

SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- When you think of Fort Bend County, you might almost immediately think of diversity because the county is home to a melting pot of people from all over the world.

A group of current and former Fort Bend Independent School District students say, just because there is diversity, that doesn't necessarily mean there is acceptance.

"We are fighting for change that we know is possible," said Chinelo Dike, a former FBISD student.

Dike is a member of the FBISD Equity Coalition, which was founded in response to the civil unrest that's happened across the country over the last several months.

The group is taking a close look at how the school district can implement changes that promote more tolerance and acceptance of the diverse student body.

Members say they've had their own negative experiences with racism and discrimination. It's why they formed the group and put out a call for other students to share their stories.

They ended up receiving hundreds of responses from students.

"We actually created a Google form where students could address or share their experiences and we got almost 400 experiences" said Sameeha Rizvi, a former FBISD student and coalition member.

The group has created several social media accounts to spread the word about their work and encourage others to join in.

An online document outlines several areas of focus the group would like to see changed, including the implementation of anti-racist policies and curriculum, as well as more support for LGBTQIA students. The document has garnered several pages of signatures supporting the changes.

In September, members spoke with FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre in order to work collaboratively with the district towards solutions.

The district shared this statement on the meeting with ABC13:

"As a District that is known for cultural and ethnic diversity, we are proud of our youth for displaying compassionate citizenship in accordance with the Profile of a Graduate. Earlier this month, members of our leadership team met with representatives of the Fort Bend Equity Coalition for a productive conversation, which included an opportunity for our staff to make them aware of the District's plan to address equity in a structured way.

In July, the FBISD BOT adopted a resolution that launched the formation of a Board Equity Committee, initiated a district equity audit, and called for creation of a district equity oversight committee. We expect leaders of our alumni and student advocacy groups to be included in the process of identifying areas of improvement and potential policy revisions.

We recognize that the student group wants to hold the district accountable by inspecting measurable outcomes of our equity work, and they want to ensure we are focused on eliminating racism and discrimination from our school system through policy and action. Overall, their desires align with our work and adopted Board goals.

District leaders are regularly consulting with our student advocates to hear their voices and to provide them with reassurance of our intentions to address their concerns. As a district, we have a commitment to honor our students and our community so that all feel included and have equitable learning experiences."

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