Moorhead Public School District is honoring the mission of "Excellence through Equity" by taking the step to fund and post the position of Director of Equity and Inclusion. In our current state of affairs, we must boldly take action as we continue to work through civil rights challenges. Positions like this can join the power of individuals and institutions to work towards an anti-racist future. It's not just a hopeful action of a better future, but a courageous one. One person alone can not fix the institution of racism, but bringing this lens and voice to the Moorhead Public School District staff is certainly a step in the right direction.

Increasing hires of racially diverse staff will give our students and staff diverse colleagues and mentors. In the work of diversity and inclusion, it is not always a perfect picture. It is about growth, facing hard truths and building community understanding and acceptance of very difficult topics. Of course employment and interviewing BIPOC candidates need to go beyond the roles of Diversity and Inclusion.

Watching these positions open and fill in our region, I implore hiring committees to commit to interviewing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) candidates. Applicants with lived experiences bring authentic understanding of systems of oppression are often not brought to the table for serious consideration. It cannot be understated that the lived experience is qualifying experience, not just something to glean in an academic capacity.

This letter is on behalf of myself as a parent, a phone banker/advocate for the past two school referendums, and past employee of the district, not in my formal capacity as a City Council member. As a resident of Moorhead, prior to becoming a parent, the Moorhead Public School District enriched my life with work experience, community vibrancy, and supporting friends and neighbors of school age children. Today, as a parent of a toddler, I am grateful for the strategic planning of the district as it prepares for the anticipated needs of our changing world and its future learners it will instruct and nurture.

It is important that we as a community and school district prioritize anti-racism in our homes, work sites and schools among staff and students. So it is with a lot of gratitude and hope that this posting will lead to fruitful action in the Moorhead Public Schools and in turn the greater community.