The New Hanover County Board of Education is committed to the issue of equity and has made it one of their top priorities. As a result, the Board is sponsoring a racial equity training session, known as “Groundwater Training” provided by the Racial Equity Institute (REI) for district staff and community members on Thursday, August 8, 2019, at the Cameron Art Museum from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon. Registration for participants starts at 8:30 a.m. The Groundwater Training is a three-hour introduction to REI’s comprehensive Racial Equity program https://www.racialequityinstitute.com/.
“The issue of equity for all students is one of the top priorities of this Board. We’re excited to bring this training and other future equity-related initiatives designed to help New Hanover County Schools move forward towards becoming a model in this area,” said Lisa Estep, chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Education. Board members will also participate or have already participated in the Groundwater training.
New Hanover County representatives from various business and community organizations have been invited to participate in the August 8th training including UNCW, Community Conversations, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, New Hanover County Government, Coast 97.3, Step Up Wilmington, New Hanover County Court system, Live Oak Bank, Williston Alumni, Wilmington Police Department, African American Business Council, Cape Fear Community College, NAACP, and local clergy.
There are a limited number of slots available for attendance at the August workshop. However, the district is looking to partner with these and other organizations to bring future racial equity training to the Wilmington area.
“We are open to partnering with others to expand our equity work here in the City of Wilmington beyond the school district. We would like to connect with our community partners and talk about the contributions we all can make to continue this important work,” said Dr. LaChawn Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Accountability. Dr. Smith has led the district’s Equity workgroup over the past year.
Description of the Groundwater Training from REI:
It is a participatory presentation in which REI organizers will use stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. By examining characteristics of modern-day racial inequality, the presentation introduces participants to an analysis that most find immediately helpful and relevant. The Groundwater presentation dovetails with REI’s Phase I workshop and is recommended as an introduction to the two-day workshop.