Open letter to SFPC community

  • During the George Floyd protests, we failed to respond adequately both publicly and privately as evidenced by our choice to post a black square on Instagram and to tweet “SFPC stands in solidarity with everyone demanding justice for the systemic racism and violence against black life.” The SFPC admins were met with criticism from our community members who felt the messages were inappropriate. Instead, we need direct and systemic support for Black people in our community.
  • Black staff members were not always treated with equal respect, as evidenced by instances when non-Black staff spoke over Black staff during meetings and requested help from Black staff in ways that caused unnecessary emotional distress and labor.
  • We used photographs of Black students, teachers, and their work in promotional material, our social media, and fundraising campaign which gave an inflated sense of diversity and inclusion within the school community. Consequently, Black students and staff felt misrepresented and tokenized.
  • Our Diversity and Inclusion efforts were not sustainable because BIPOC(Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students were not often elevated to leadership positions, their labor as work-study students was compensated only in the form of reduced tuition, and the curriculum and programs continued to promote predominantly white artists.
  • Our internal working environment and mission statement did not center on racial justice and there were limited tools for protecting and supporting BIPOC staff.
  • In addition, we had issues regarding the administration and staff communication, as well as a lack of transparency about decision-making and finances. For example, our teachers were asked to transition to teaching online on short notice, compounding their stress, labor, and financial precarity.
  • Actively work towards dismantling white supremacy and all linked forms of oppression.
  • Incorporate critical theory and history into all classes.
  • Have guaranteed need-based tuition or no tuition at all.
  • Practice radical financial transparency.
  • Protect its workers against economic precarity.
  • Have a cooperative leadership structure.
  • Treat students as collaborators and formally acknowledge the power of students to determine their experience & education.
  • Extend into wider communities and welcome new communities into the school.
  • Actively support vulnerable, most impacted, and under-represented communities by being a genuine platform for grassroots organizing around collective actions.
  • Acknowledge that its members are capable of making mistakes.

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immigrant. art. tech. learning. accessibility. inclusion. Co-founder @sfpc. fellow @datasociety. artist http://taeyoonchoi.com

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Taeyoon Choi

Taeyoon Choi

immigrant. art. tech. learning. accessibility. inclusion. Co-founder @sfpc. fellow @datasociety. artist http://taeyoonchoi.com

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