BLM Press Release
This June, several parents of Lake Highlands area students joined to form Lake Highlands Area Moms Against Racism. The leaders of our group support Richardson ISD, and we share our district’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. As parents in Lake Highlands, we are committed to engaging our community in meaningful conversations about the impact of systemic and individual racism and in opportunities to pursue the work of anti-racism.
In pursuit of our mission, several members of our group created a memorial to Black lives lost to individual and systemic racism. With permission from the RichardsonISD superintendent, Dr. Stone, the organizers of this incredible memorial hung photos, flowers, and quotes along a fence on Church Road, near Lake Highlands High School. Many dozens of families have shared gratitude for and stories about the positive impact of this memorial, including teachable moments with their children, opportunities for further research, and the validation that the life of every Black individual in our community matters to the Lake Highlands community. We are very grateful to Dr. Stone for allowing the memorial to be placed on campus and to be a part of the community.
We are aware that a few individuals in the greater Richardson area have voiced opposition to a sign at the memorial that stated “Black Lives Matter.” We respect Dr. Stone's decision to request removal of this sign. Our goal for the memorial was to honor the Black Lives that have been lost to police brutality and other acts of violence, and we are humbled by the overall positive response from community members. However, as strong supporters of education, we believe that this is a teachable moment. Opposition expressed by members of the community to the sign clearly demonstrates the need for this work to continue.
As anti-racists, we cannot ignore the need to discuss and address specific dangers, obstacles, and harm experienced by Black members of our society, including our Black classmates and neighbors. The statement that Black Lives Matter is a needed reminder when systems and individuals in our nation, our state, and our community continue to endanger the lives and limit the opportunities of Black individuals. The assertion that Black Lives Matter holds broad significance and importance for our group leaders. When we state that Black Lives Matter, we do not refer to a specific organization, although some members of our group may support the Black Lives Matter organization. Furthermore, when we state that Black Lives Matter, we do not state that other lives do not matter. We are committed to inclusion and diversity, and we believe in the precious value of every student and every life in Lake Highlands.
We ask that our group remain a safe space for all anti-racists in our community to discuss these issues, to share their experiences, and to explore positive action steps to support our community. To that end, we must insist on the privacy of our members. Information may not be shared from our group in any manner without permission from the member(s) who posted that information. We welcome and encourage the media or anyone with questions about our mission or activities to contact Lowry Manders or Denita Jones.
As Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel stated: “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Our group leaders firmly state: we believe that Black Lives Matter. It is our sincere hope that in the near future, the time will come when every member of our community recognizes the value and importance of the work of anti-racism. In the meantime, we remain committed to this statement and to our mission, and eager for further partnership with RISD. We are encouraged by the outpouring of support we have received from the community for our group and for this memorial. We welcome all who share our mission to join us.
Thank you for joining us on this journey,
Lowry and Denita,
Sisters Against Racism, Co-Admins, LHAMAR