Our Voices

Buffalo Schools Take Important Step Toward Equity

Amidst a year of near constant setbacks and disappointments due to a worldwide pandemic, we are heartened to see the proactive steps toward educational equity being taken by Buffalo Public Schools.

Today’s forum with anti-racist scholar Ibram X. Kendi is far from an isolated event. The district’s Office of Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Initiatives has shown in recent months it’s serious about dismantling still all-too-prevalent systemic racism in Buffalo schools, and shrinking the graduation gap between Black and white students that’s shown to be larger than any other big-city districts in New York.

As Superintendent Kriner Cash is expected to unveil an “emancipation curriculum” in the coming weeks, Buffalo Schools must recognize and expand upon the important groundwork already laid to help students more accurately understand history and be human rights defenders in their own communities.

For years, a number of teachers including Springville Middle School American History Teacher Andrew Beiter, a 2020 National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee, and others have used Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ Speak Truth to Power Curriculum, which draws on the lessons of Congressman John Lewis, Ruby Bridges, Kailash Satyarthi and others to help realize Kennedy’s ideals of a better, more just and peaceful world.

It takes a village, it is said, to raise a child. Only by expanding upon this important groundwork, and drawing on the strength of outside partnerships, can the equity gap finally be eradicated.

Kerry Kennedy


Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

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