I went to my local PTSA today to talk about starting a parent group focused on racial equity. There were some good conversations about how the school was moving forward . . . baby steps, though. One woman said something that has stuck with me, about remembering the voices of the people who were not in the room. Because it was all pretty darn white.
There’s no exact right thing to do when voices are missing from a table. All the things are wrong to some extent. I learned this lesson last year, working on a racial equity team at another school, when I had been listening to the voice of someone who couldn’t make the meetings and advocating one course of action, while meanwhile someone else was advocating an opposite course. My speaking up “for” somebody not present was both right and wrong.
Sometimes you just have to choose the least wrong thing and let it go at that.
It would be better, though, to have all the voices in the room.