APPEAR (Association de Parents pour la Promotion d`une Éducation Anti- Raciste) is an organisation formed by a group of parents who understand the need for a diverse and inclusive campus for all students in the light of the International School of Geneva charter (ECOLINT). We realise that this is a continuous endeavour that will involve parents, school and students.
APPEAR was formed in May 2019 after parents whose children had been negatively affected by racism at school, realised that the response from the administration needed improvement on the taboo topic of racism. APPEAR’s aim is to rise awareness about this and work together with the school to make our schools a safe space for all.
APPEAR has the following goal:Provide a safe space for all students on Ecolint campus by:
- Encouraging teachers and students to be anti racist champions
- Highlighting the importance of a curriculum that is inclusive and anti racist and encouraging the schools to review their curricula via this lens
- Listening to and acting on concerns linked to racism and seeing these as a serious child protection issued
- Fostering diversity in the school administration and teaching staff in order to mirror the student diversity
We recognise that all forms of discrimination matter. However our focus is specifically on racism to make meaningful change in that precise and often neglected area. We understand similarly, other groups exist at school who work on different anti discrimination themes. This is why we are not calling ourselves an “Anti discrimination group”, but rather an “Anti racist group”. Otherwise, everything would be under the same umbrella, resulting in a lack of clarity and efficiency. We are happy to collaborate with other anti-discrimination initiative though.
We have been working with Dr Hawley at the Foundation level since 2019 and with school staff since early this year. Back in November 2019, Dr Hawley hosted an evening, attended by some students, some teachers and APPEAR, where we discussed the book How to be Anti Racist by Ibram X Kendi. Our next book will be White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, an interesting topic because racism is the elephant in the room. A taboo word, a concept that as soon as it is mentioned creates either an uncomfortable silence, or a defensive attitude. We all somehow feel attacked. it is important to understand we are all on a journey to grow and look into ourselves and check for our own biases, our own prejudice towards others.
Ultimately Ecolint is the place we have chosen for our children’s education. We do believe there is no better place for them to be but there is also room for improvement. We are committed to keeping our community moving forward on this topic as our contribution to maintaining Ecolint as the top institution it has always been, ahead of any other.
Let`s continue the conversations…