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City Year Milwaukee’s third Equity Summit of the year 

At City Year Milwaukee, AmeriCorps members and staff come together to participate in Equity Summits. An important part of our commitment to being an anti-racist organization is creating spaces that allow us to deeply learn about our own identities, how our actions foster belonging for others and think critically about the systems we operate within. For our site, Equity Summits are one of the ways we make this work a priority and participate in learning and unlearning alongside one another.

An arc of learning and unlearning

The first two Equity Summits of the year focused on introducing common language, learning about our own identities and discussing how we can foster belonging and equity for others. As a site, we have used this foundation of mirror work to guide us in decolonizing our work, learning more about unjust systems present in our community and discovering ways we can practice Big Citizenship every day.

Equity in education: Equity Summit #3

The theme of our third virtual summit was Equity in Education. The purpose of this summit was to give AmeriCorps members and staff opportunities to connect the history of education and equity to our own service. There were three main components of this summit:

  • A keynote address from a former City Year Milwaukee Impact Director and phenomenal equity leader, Nikotris Perkins, about love, joy and service and how to dismantle inequity by becoming pollinators in this work. She spoke about love, joy and service as being key tools in equity work and asked us each the question: “How will you offer action in love, joy and service while keeping dignity of others in mind in the next 45 days?”
  • Learning modules created by City Year’s Department of Equity titled, “How did we get here?  A historical look at race in our education system as a source of oppression.” The learning modules included activities that gave us opportunities to reflect on our own educational experiences while learning about the ways education has historically been used as a way to oppress people of color in the United States.
  • AmeriCorps member-led sessions: After day one of programming, AmeriCorps members Lexi Brown and Kristen Leer facilitated virtual sessions on topics they are passionate about. Kristen led a session about cultural trauma in education, and Lexi led a session about the importance of protecting the spirit of BIPOC. Both sessions encouraged AmeriCorps members and staff to engage in important dialogues with one another and think more critically about the inequities present in educational systems.

Looking ahead

City Year Milwaukee’s next equity summit will be held in January and will serve as another opportunity for our site to gain a deeper understanding of our own identities and gain more knowledge and understanding of our communities. Be on the lookout for more updates on our equity work in the months ahead.

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