Reparations for Black Students
Key Statement on Reparations Work
On March 24, 2021, the OUSD Board of Education passed the Reparations for Black Students Resolution that recognizes the impact of structural societal racism over many generations on our African-American families, and creates a task force to prioritize action on a number of measures to address these issues in our schools.
“Oakland has always been in the vanguard when it comes to addressing racial injustice. We are proud that this plan unapologetically commits to centering Black and Brown Excellence as our city’s collective work.”- Board of Education
“It is a future where Oakland schools embody our community’s commitment to equity, centering Black and Brown Excellence as our city’s collective work.”- Superintendent Johnson-Trammell
About OUSD's Reparations Resolution
How We Got the Resolution
The Reparations for Black Students Resolution was created after the Justice for Oakland Students, known as the J4OS Coalition, held community events from 2017 to 2019 to learn what Black students and families were experiencing in OUSD.
- Adopted by the Board
- Speaks to policy rather than just program or project
- Established structure for carrying out the work and providing monitoring/accountability structures/systems
The Black Students and Families Thriving Task Force (“Task Force”) is comprised of a Steering Committee and Working Groups charged with guiding and monitoring the establishment and implementation of the Oakland Unified School District’s Resolution No. 2021-0037 - Reparations for Black Students. Specifically, the Task Force is charged with:
- Developing recommendations for OUSD Black Thriving indicators (data).
- Developing a recommendation for the Black Student Thriving Plan (coherence)
- Developing and monitoring progress of the Black Thriving Fund (resources).
- Monitoring other initiatives focused on advancing outcomes for Black students in OUSD and across the country (learning).
Task Force Meetings & Resources
Listening Sessions 2021
Between October and December of 2021, we welcomed over 250 community members across five listening sessions, where attendees shared their personal experiences within OUSD. The following themes and ideas from the community are guiding our work.
I don't think you can have an official decide on what a community needs. It can't come from the outside, it needs to come from the inside.
- Anonymous OUSD Community Member
At listening sessions, community members spoke to the importance of school environments that provide a sense of safety, belonging, and healing. This requires several different elements, including:
- healthy school cultures (progressive discipline policies, social-emotional offerings/mental health supports, healthy nutritional offerings, and more)
- beautiful, high-quality facilities and inspiring visuals
- equitable access to resources
- rigorous, culturally relevant academics and culturally responsive academic supports
- students and families engaged in important conversations and decisions
- accountable leaders (in individual school buildings as well as at the district level)
- strong, positive relationships between students and adults, and also between families and school staff
Community members identified important questions that the district still needs to address, including:
- How will district administration acknowledge and address the harm done to Black families in OUSD?
- How will community partners working on reparations in OUSD be held accountable?
- Will ideas from listening sessions make their way into the Reparations Resolution?
- What is the plan for continuing to engage families throughout the process?
The Black Thriving Plan
One of the first of its kind for a school district in the United States, the Black Thriving Plan is a guide and tool that will help us create better experiences and results for Black students and families in OUSD.
If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.
Black Thriving Indicator Framework
Physical & Emotional Health
This indicator measures the physical and emotional well-being of Black students and the degree to which they are able to access essential systems of support.
Empowered & Engaged
This indicator measures the agency of Black families and students to navigate their school system and advocate for change.
This indicator measures the access to upward mobility in academic success, and culturally responsive curriculum and teachers for Black students.
Loved & Affirmed
This indicator measures if school environments are providing learning about Black history, culture and identity that celebrates and affirms Blackness.
Rich & Diverse Learning Experiences
This indicator measures access to and usage of unconventional career opportunities for Black students—including life skills and extracurricular activities—that are rooted in Black/African history and joy. This includes paid opportunities.
Safety & Sense of Belonging
This indicator measures Black student and family engagement at classroom, school site, and central office level that intentionally incorporates student/family voice and is made visible through school and Community connections.
How to Stay Connected/Get Involved
We invite members of the Black Community to share your thoughts via our Reparations survey!
Task Force meetings are open to the public and meeting dates will be posted here.
We’re grateful to every member of our community who’s raised their voice and invested their time in support of this work!