Eanes ISD alumni, students, faculty and parents have mobilized to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
A newly formed initiative, Chaps for Black Lives Matter, spearheaded by sisters and EISD alumna Danielle and Michelle Suh, has launched in the Westlake area.
Early last week the group sent a letter to district officials signed by 400 individuals calling for the implementation of anti-racism education. In part, the letter outlined five requests that the authors believe would help EISD become a district in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
Among the recommendations is the hiring of a third-party consultant focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, also referred to as DEI, and the board creating a DEI-focused subcommittee.
As of June 11, that letter is now approaching 800 signatures, according to Danielle Suh.
“We’re really blown away by the enthusiastic response from a lot of current students, parents and faculty,” Danielle Suh said.
Shortly after the group’s creation, EISD held a previously scheduled board study session June 9 in which over 60 community members submitted statements during open forum. Several alumni shared personal experiences with racism as they called upon the district to continue to improve.
During the meeting, officials expressed the desire to evoke change, including board President Jennifer Champagne, who made a statement on behalf of trustees.
“We’re very committed to being a part of the change our nation needs to see,” Champagne said.
The conversation surrounding anti-racist education is far from finished, and Danielle and Michelle Suh are excited to begin potentially collaborating with the district.
The pair have arranged a conversation with EISD Superintendent Tom Leonard, Deputy Superintendent Jeff Arnet and Chief Learning Officer Susan Fambrough. Supporters of the movement can anticipate future updates and sign up using the Chaps for BLM contact form.
“Westlake does so well in so many things,” Danielle Suh said. “Anti-racist education is just another thing where they can be better.”