Court Watch: Records Show DC Schools Pushed Racial Segregation In Employee ‘Affinity Spaces’

know about Court Watch: Records Show DC Schools Pushed Racial Segregation In Employee ‘Affinity Spaces’

(Washington D.C.) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received 194 pages of District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) records showing that DC officials promoted “Affinity Spaces” segregated based on race and gender identity.

Judicial Watch obtained the records in response to a June 24, 2021 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to:

Records identifying the number of affinity spaces hosted by the District of Columbia Public Schools from August 31, 2020 through June 24, 2021.

Records identifying the topics discussed during any affinity space hosted by the District of Columbia Public Schools from August 31, 2020 to June 24, 2021.

Registrations inviting students, faculty, and staff to affinity spaces hosted by the District of Columbia Public Schools from August 31, 2020 to June 24, 2021.

Records, including policies and procedures, regarding the creation and use of “affinity spaces.”

Any analysis of whether affinity spaces that exclude students, faculty, and staff who identify as a specific race or gender is consistent with district and federal law, including, but not limited to, 42 USC 2000d and the Equal Protection of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

The records include a DCPS PowerPoint presentation from September 2021 titled “DCPS Affinity Group Interest Form” indicating:

DCPS Staff: The Equity Programming and Strategy Team initially launched affinity spaces as safe spaces for you to reflect and process after the murder of George Floyd, and we will continue them through the 21-22 school year as a place for people to ponder. and keep learning and growing.

One way to process in a safe space is through affinity. Affinity Spaces are gathering opportunities for people who share a common identity. This space will be organized based on the racial identities represented at Central Office, as our goal is to lean into the Courageous Conversation condition of isolating race.

To learn more about the benefit of racial affinity groups, take advantage of this resource from Learning for Justice:

DCPS Central Office Staff from Equity, Community Action and SEL [Social and Emotional Learning] Teams will co-facilitate these affinity groups in collaboration with volunteers at least once a month, but more frequently as requested by the group.

A form in the presentation asks respondents to submit their pronouns, which include she/she, she/they, he/he, he/they, they/they, ze/hir, she/he/they, or “other.”

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DCPS staff are asked to select “Which racial affinity group(s) do you plan to join through Teams? (Select all that apply to you and your racial identities. A separate calendar/invitation from Teams will come from the DCPS Equity calendar):”

Asian American Pacific Islander

Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx

Indian/Native American, Multiracial, White

I am not represented by any of these options and I want to recommend another group.

The form adds: “As we define race, it can be easy to confuse race with ethnicity or nationality because the definition and boundaries are always changing. Use the US Census ( ) as a guide, but don’t let it limit you based on how you identify racially.

The form also asks if respondents are interested in the new LGBTQIA+ “affinity spaces.” Those spaces are divided into “BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) LGBTQIA+” and “White LGBTQIA+.”

a DCPS memorandum details events taking place in June 2021 and is titled “Proposed Compromise in Response to Recent Racial Incidents” begins: “These are challenging times. I imagine we are all struggling to make sense of the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing racial violence and racism that people of color, but specifically black people, endure at the hands of police, other systems and individuals.”

A table of proposed events in the memo includes an “Affinity Group Brown Bag” which is described as a “Moderate Space for CO [Central Office] to reflect, connect, feel, share, strategize in a smaller, cognate (Black, White, Latino, Asian) space – focus on self-awareness, identity, and cultural awareness.”

without date E-mail from the DCPS Equity Team to AAPI Affinity (DCPS); black affinity (DCPS); Hispanic/Latinx Affinity (DCPS); multiracial affinity (DCPS); White Affinity (DCPS); and many individual DCPS members with the subject “Interracial Affinity Space (led by Multiracial Affinity Group)” informs recipients that: “Multiracial Affinity Group is tentative to lead an Interracial Affinity Space during the week of the 9 from August to August 13the [2020]”:

Interracial Affinity Space Calendar

The current schedule for the inter-race dialogue is as follows (open to all affinity group members) to be led by the respective affinity groups). Dates may change if conflicts arise for most attendees:

* October: Will be run by the Hispanic/Latino/Latinx affinity group

* December: Will be run by the White affinity group

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* February: To be led by the Black affinity group

*May: To be run by the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) affinity group

* August: To be led by the multiracial affinity group


Some guiding standards and goals for all affinity spaces:

  • Go beyond celebration: Head Office (CO) Affinity Spaces will ensure the conversation translates identity-related issues into actions that help mitigate those issues across our teams, offices, and COs.
  • Isolate Race: CO Affinity Spaces Will Leverage Brave Talk Protocol [no longer available on the IEL website] – especially the norm of isolating the race – in dialogue and collaboration.
  • A Lens for Equity: As CO Affinity Spaces move from conversation to action, the spaces will ensure those actions are rooted in an equity lens that focuses on politics, identity and mindsets, practices and culture. The DCPS Equity Framework> is a critical resource for exploring goals and objectives through an equity lens.
  • Create Interracial Learning Opportunities: CO Affinity Spaces will come together in a space for interracial dialogue and learning led by a respective affinity group every two months.

As of January 26, 2021, E-mail From Former DCPS Equity Strategy and Programming Team Member Elizabeth Rene, who now works at Google, introduces his then-colleagues to what is called the “Anti-Racist Educators University,” touted as the first such effort “led by any school district.” The email says:

Many of you have engaged in conversations about race and equity with your students, families, and colleagues. However, many more of you have asked how to translate those conversations into action.

The Anti-Racist Educators University is an opportunity to proactively apply what we have learned about race and equity to our daily classroom practice, as well as to change policies, mindsets, and culture.

Anti-Racist Educator University is a strategic lever that provides DCPS educators with shared learning rooted in a collective commitment to active anti-racism…

As of June 16, 2021, E-mail of Samuel Box from DCPS to principal katie lundgren and several colleagues state: “[T]The goal of these affinity groups is to create a safe space among colleagues to process the impacts of racism and white supremacy within our school community and identify collective actions to take as individuals and as groups.”

“These shocking documents show, in blatant violation of the Constitution and civil rights laws, that the public school system in our nation’s capital promoted blatant racial segregation among its staff based on radical and divisive CRT principles,” he said. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch recently released records revealing Critical Race Theory (CRT) instruction at the US Military Academy, West Point. One training slide contains a graphic titled “MODERN SLAVERY IN THE US.”

CFPB records obtained in February 2022 included a PowerPoint presentation titled “Race and Gender-Based Microaggressions” that was used for training in the organization.

In June 2022, Judicial Watch Announced What do you have today? appealed a federal court decision that dismissed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of David Flynn, a Massachusetts father who was fired from his position as a high school football coach after he raised concerns about Black Lives Matter/the critical race theory being taught in her daughter’s old seventh grade history class

In January, Judicial Watch Announced who filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for all FBI records related to the October 4, 2021 memorandum issued by Attorney General Garland to objecting parents to the Critical Theory of Race in schools.

In November 2021, Judicial Watch Announced what did you receive two sets of new records related to the teaching of critical racial theory in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the largest school system in Maryland. The new records include a training course with information on a book titled “Anti-Racist Baby” that introduces younger readers to “the concept and power of anti-racism” and says it’s the “perfect gift” for “babies up to age 3 “.

Records received from Loudoun County, VAwhich Judicial Watch made public in October 2021, revealed a coordinated effort to advance critical racial theory initiatives in Loudoun County public schools despite widespread public opposition.

Also in October 2021, Judicial Watch Announced who received a whistleblower training document in Rhode Island’s Westerly School District detailing how Westerly Public Schools is using teachers to push critical race theory into classrooms.

Records from the Wellesley Public Schools in Massachusetts, released by Judicial Watch in June 2021, confirmed the use of “affinity spaces” that divide students and staff based on race as a priority and goal of the school district’s “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” plan. The school district also accepted which between September 1, 2020 and May 17, 2021 created “five differentiated spaces” segregated.


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