#DiversyfingOurNarrative (DON), is a national organization founded in June of 2020 by two Stanford University students who have the goal to change the national educational system for long-lasting justice and equality.
Wilson High School Student, Junior, Amanda Burke is the social media director of Long Beach’s chapter of DON, and the Deputy Director of Communication of the national organization.
“Our goal as an organization is to push for anti racist education in our schools, nationwide, have at least one or more books in every grade’s history and English classes to be written by and/or about the experiences of a person or people of color, and to implement required ethnic studies courses in all high schools in the country,” said Burke.
Currently, Burke is working on a new infographic series for the Long Beach chapter of DON in collaboration with the Long Beach Unified School District, titled DONxLBUSD. The series focuses on intersectionality, which is a framework for understanding how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. In addition, the collaboration will focus on anti-racism and equity in the district, how to achieve it, and what every person can do to ensure the progressive notions.
To accomplish this, Burke is working with people such as Dr. Tiffany Brown, DON’s Deputy Superintendent, on implementing the petition for 50% of the schools nationwide to spread equality for everyone and to seek racial justice.
As a national board member, Burke has 5,000 workers beside her making these goals easier and faster to achieve. As said by the student, “When it comes to achieving something this important, involving the teachers and making sure they are properly trained and educated for any kind of situation possible is very important.”
As this organization is attempting to highlight diversity, there are national goals such as spreading equality for every school throughout the United States.
“Our goal nationwide is to implement required ethnic studies courses in all high schools in the country,” said Burke. “But each individual district (also known as Chapters in DON) may have different goals that they implement along with the national goals. Like Long Beach is looking for a stronger POC teacher percentage, environmentalism in our schools, and is working alongside the newly created equity team.”
Burke explains how this organization holds national goals, but for each school, the plan for diversity may be slightly different. However, these separate plans still meet the requirements of preaching equality. As far as the involvement between Long Beach and DON, Long Beach itself is one single chapter which has organizers from Wilson and Millikan. The organization is trying to have more schools be involved in this campaign.
“Besides me being in the program, there is one other Wilson Student that is involved in this organization. We just opened up an internship program that is trying to get other schools besides Millikan and Wilson to be involved,” reports Burke.
When it comes to the students being involved, almost anyone who is interested gets accepted, but since this program is fairly new, many do become inactive because of communication/commitment issues with other topics.
With more work, Burke will expand DON to become a nationwide organization. But for now, the student is “very proud of little victories. Anything to celebrate is worth celebrating.”