SARATOGA SPRINGS — Educators and families from Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa, and throughout the Capital District gathered on Saturday at Congress Park pledging to seek and “teach truth” about United States history and inclusive pedagogy.
The action comes as state lawmakers across the country are introducing bills to ban school curricula that include information about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other oppression in U.S. history.
The program began with a teach-in at the Solomon Northup historical marker on the southwest corner of Broadway and Congress Street with Rachel Seligman, then moved to Congress Park for art-making activities with C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios and the Tang Museum. Conversations with families and educators took place through noon, and spread throughout the community with MLK Saratoga’s walking tour, and free admission to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Several states, including MO, TX, ID, AR, IA, LA, NH, OK, RI, WV, AZ, and NC have targeted such curricula offered by the New York Times 1619 Project, Southern Poverty Law Center, Black Lives Matter at School, and the Zinn Education Project. Meanwhile, the New York State Board of Regents passed a framework this past spring to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the curriculum.
Saratoga Educational Equity Network is organized around the belief that each and every student, family, and faculty member in the Saratoga Springs City School District should be seen. SEEN is committed to dismantling systemic racism, promoting intersectional justice, and confronting bias in the Saratoga Springs City School District.
C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing a space where the benefits of artmaking impact both the individual and the community as a whole. They offer low-cost art workshops and groups, community wellness activities, and open studios to promote artmaking and the creative process as a vehicle for personal growth, communication, and social change.
MLK Saratoga shares Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of peace and justice for all, building civil and human rights awareness by promoting inclusivity, diversity, and social justice through community events and offerings by utilizing performance, dialogue, and the arts as a collective launching point. MLK Saratoga is a registered 501(c)(3).