Black Students Are Not ‘Marginalized,’ They Are the Center of Our Work

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JAMILA DUGAN: Black students aren’t lost. We’ve got to sharpen our lens and take seriously our responsibility as a nation to support their academic success, care for their well-being (including socioemotional and mental health), affirm their identities, and “see” them. This moment of challenge should be an opportunity to show Black students what they can be. I refuse to accept the framing that our students are “marginalized”—instead, I am choosing to center the margins. Choosing the margins means honoring Black and indigenous educational traditions by centering liberation over standardization, and choosing students’ experiences as our primary guides in school leadership and design.

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