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Groups Update Community After Meeting with RCSD Superintendent

By Staff –


mama2The Take it Down Planning Committee, Faith Community Alliance, and Movement for Anti-Racist Ministry and Action (MAMA) held a press conference Monday, to update the community regarding the coalition’s progress after meeting with Rochester City School District Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams.

The groups formed a coalition in August, and have been meeting with the superintendent over the past few months in an attempt to improve academic achievement among minority students.

“Since the time of our joint press conference, held here on Aug. 23, 82 days ago, we have met with Rochester City School District Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams and/or top level members of her administrative team five times,” the groups said in a statement. “As it relates to efforts aimed at decisively and effectively addressing the cumulative, and ongoing effects and impacts of individual institutional and structural racism in the RCSD, we believe superintendent Deane-Williams deserves some credit. Yet, we have some fundamental disagreements with her limited initiatives and approaches, which are, in some ways, very reminiscent of the old, deeply entrenched, status-quo, and as in the past, do not reflect a serious sense of urgency.”

According to the groups’ members, although Deane-Williams had initially been reluctant to meet with the coalition, the superintendent has currently said she’s open to meeting with its members on a regular basis, as well as to the prospect of conducting an ethnographic study to address the district’s hiring and retention practices relative to minority teachers.

The superintendent has also invited the coalition, along with members of the community, to participate in the district’s Racial Equity Advocacy and Leadership team meetings, which take place the fourth Tuesday of each month at the district’s central office.

In addition, the coalition has also invited RCSD families and community members to attend a community action meeting that will take place Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Central Church of Christ, 101 S. Plymouth Ave.

The meeting will take place at 1 p.m., and the coalition will hold ongoing meetings the first Saturday of each month at the church, going forward.

The group is scheduled to meet again with the superintendent in December.

Visit or to view Take it Down Steering Committee members Minister Clifford Florence and Kathryn Murano-Santos discuss the groups’ progress, or click on the images below.

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