10 November 2019
Vice President, Lynn Maloney Steps Down from Race Matters, Friends Executive Board... Offers Closing Thoughts
It was five years ago, and just two nights before Thanksgiving that a group of us came together and created Race Matters, Friends (RMF) as a group to confront racism in Columbia, MO. A year and a half later, we became formally recognized as a 501(c)3.
This week I chose to step away from the organization’s Executive Committee. What I have learned about racism, activism, and the city of Columbia has affected me deeply, and I am proud of the work RMF continues to do as I step back to integrate all that I have experienced.
What I am chewing on right now is the reaction of the Columbia Public School district to RMF’s request for information regarding the district’s social equity work. As racial disparities for discipline are commonly recognized as a reflection of the school-to-prison pipeline, RMF engaged several school administrators and was assisted by the ACLU in requesting records about the CPS’ equity practices.
From May of this year until the present, we requested records. We had conversations with students, their parents, and administrators in person and via email. The Chief Equity Officer has demonstrably failed to perform her duties, as outlined in a detailed job description, which was recently removed from the CPS website.
The upshot? The Chief Equity Officer, Carla London, filed a police report and protective order for herself and her children against our president. The judge dismissed both protective orders. Friends have asked me what happened, understanding that this was bizarre. Others, have simply believed the validity of Ms. London’s unsubstantiated claims. Please read the documents filed by Ms. London, attached here. You will find no evidence of wrong-doing as accused. What you will find, is a series of emails between RMF and the Chief Equity Officer asking for questions to be answered.
RMF’s inquiry into racial equity at Columbia Public Schools came after the President of the Missouri NAACP asked us to advocate for a mother whose child had been wrongly arrested by the police department. Since that time we have learned of four cases pending against CPS regarding harmful disciplinary practices.
Black millennial scholar and PhD student, Sharon Aniyam joined RMF at our Executive Committee Retreat last weekend. RMF benefited from hearing about her racial justice activism in the UK. She also helped us integrate the work of our retreat in this podcast,which she created as part of her research while visiting the US. Listen here: Retreat Reflections with Race Matters Friends An episode of The Millennial VSCOholar, By The Millennial VSCOholar with (Sharon Aniyam, Traci Wilson-Kleekamp and Lynn Maloney)