At our meeting for worship with a concern for business held July 11 in Lusby, Patuxent Friends Meeting approved the following, which was presented to the Calvert County Board of Education at its meeting held July 15.

Minute of appreciation for Anti-Racism Policy adopted by Calvert County Board of Education:

As members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), we have a long tradition of advocating for social justice. Our fundamental belief is that there is that of God in everyone. We strive for justice and equal treatment for all. When we ensure that others have the opportunity to succeed, we are all lifted up as well.

The Calvert County Board of Education’s recently approved anti-racism policy is a commitment to “establish and sustain a school community that shares the collective responsibility to address, eliminate, and prevent any actions that perpetuate racism.” The policy brings awareness to social and cultural factors, systemic racism and institutional barriers. It provides direction for school staff to recognize and act upon well documented disparities in educational experience among students of color.

Disparities in discipline, assignment to special education programs and academic performance are well documented. The anti-racism policy is a step forward in making sure our schools provide “a safe, anti-racist, and inclusive educational environment where each student and staff member is treated with respect and dignity, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

We congratulate the school board for this initiative. As a community, we can and need to do better for all our young people. If everyone has the opportunity to succeed, our entire community will benefit in the years and decades to come.

Patuxent Friends Meeting is a partner in the Big Conversation on Dismantling Racism and Privilege. We endeavor to labor with all individuals and organizations who are working to build bridges across racial divides.