The McFarland Equity Project is a grassroots racial justice organization that was developed out of the passion, courage and needs of students and others in our community. At a rally on June 3, 2020, Laëtitia Hollard, Sean Chislom, Robert Robinson, Emmanuel Barber-Thomas, Jewel Shershok, Marquion Hudson, and Taye Levin used their voices to highlight racial issues they and others have experienced in McFarland.
"Students of color have wanted to make changes to the school and the village for a long time. The isolation you
feel as a student of color in McFarland is like no other. The black lives matter [rally] gave us affirmation and
enough power to boost the change that had already started, and make strong change. Many people ask me
why I started doing this in McFarland, and I answer them that I had no choice. I could not sit idly by when
I know other young students of color would go through the same experiences I went through in McFarland
over and over again. I'm hopeful that the change we made in the last few months will stop this pain
from continuing." - Laëtitia Hollard
That rally motivated the community to connect and develop an organizational structure to make changes in three areas: the COMMUNITY, EDUCATION (the school district), and the VILLAGE.
Our common goal is to address racial inequities, seek justice by promoting anti-racist policies and practices, and create and maintain inclusive and welcoming environments in the Village of McFarland.
OUR OPERATING PRINCIPLES
As a group, we will:
stay true to our mission of addressing systemic racism in the Village of McFarland.
recognize that we often default to the “norm” of a white racial frame.
break the pattern of white racial framing by questioning how we make decisions, the choices we make, and how we enact those choices.
give up our individual and collective power when necessary, so that others can be empowered.
have uncomfortable, yet civil and respectful conversations when we are in disagreement.
use our power and privilege when it is in service to our mission.
hold ourselves accountable to these principles and the resulting actions of the group.
As an individual in this group, I will:
seek to listen and understand other peoples’ perspectives.
educate myself about racial bias, systemic racism, and the ways that I perpetuate each of those.
consciously and intentionally make changes in my thoughts, attitudes and behaviors to interrupt my racialized patterns of thinking and doing.
discuss controversial topics with civility, both in this group and in the community overall.
listen to and amplify the voices of people of color.
hold myself accountable for my action and inaction.