APS News Release

Let’s Talk: A Community Discussion on Racism Event

Arlington Public Schools will host a virtual event titled, “Let’s Talk: A Community Discussion on Racism,” on Monday, June 22 from 7-8:30 p.m. As a follow up to the joint statement on racism issued by the Superintendent and School Board earlier this month, the virtual event will include a panel discussion and a question and answer session for students, staff and community members to engage in a meaningful discussion around racism.

This event will be the first in a series of community discussions on racism, equity, social justice and how they all intersect within educational systems. The purpose of the first event in the series is to establish a safe space for community members to engage using the four agreements of courageous conversations about racism; define and differentiate non-racism and anti-racism; and define empathy.

APS leaders will discuss the APS journey, including a high-level discussion of actions taken to date and the future commitments to confront racism in schools. The event will also discuss available resources for APS families and staff to begin discussing racism and the various forms of bias to provide improved educational experiences and outcomes for all students, especially for African American students.

During the event, there will be a panel discussion with the following featured individuals:

  • Tannia Talento, Arlington School Board Chair
  • Dr. Francisco Durán, APS Superintendent
  • Arron K. Gregory, J.D., APS Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
  • Emily Vincent, County Council of PTAs (CCPTA) President-Elect
  • Galilee Ambellu, Yorktown High School Graduating Senior
  • Antoinette Waters, Wakefield African American Studies Teacher
  • Panel Moderator: Dr. Shantha Smith, APS Equity & Excellence Coordinator

Submitting Questions for the Panel Discussion
The community can submit questions in advance by sending their questions to Engage with APS! by email at engage@apsva.us or by texting questions to 703-957-0089. During the event attendees will be able to submit questions in real-time by using the Microsoft Teams Q&A feature or by using the Facebook Live chat feature.

Viewing the Event
The event will be broadcast on Microsoft Teams and Facebook Live on the Arlington Public Schools Facebook page. There is no special software or app needed to view the event on Microsoft Teams, but for an optimum viewing experience, the recommended browser is Google Chrome. The event will also be broadcasted live on Comcast Channel 70 and Verizon Channel 41.

Future Events
In July and August, APS will host additional events for students to continue the dialogue. Details about the Let’s Talk: Critical Conversations Student Summer Series will be shared soon.

Contact Information
For additional information or questions about this event, please contact Family Engagement & Public Information Communications Coordinator Daryl Johnson at 703-228-7667 or daryl.johnson@apsva.us.