A Bay Area California school district that agreed to spend $40 million on creating an ethnic studies curriculum hired several critical race theory organizations to assist their push for “Anti-bias/anti-racism.” While the startling figure revealed the scale of Hayward Unified School District’s push for critical race theory, previously unreported public records and even the district’s website more fully encapsulate Hayward Unified’s extremism.
The district, which consists of 19,000 K-12 students in three high schools, five middle schools, and 21 elementary schools, dedicated $123,000 for a variety of critical race theory training programs for staff and students that expressed extreme sentiments. This expenditure included an organization called “Woke Kindergarten” that received $57,000 to teach public school teachers and staff how to “disrupt whiteness.”
A contract between the district and Woke Kindergarten revealed that the far-left organization founded by Akiea Gross was paid $50,000 by the district to conduct workshops and trainings for staff members at Glassbrook Elementary School. The contract abstract says staff members were expected to “learn how to use Woke Kindergarten’s resources and pedagogical approaches in practice as a way to disrupt whiteness” and “white dominant/settler colonial narratives.”
Pale skin color, or “whiteness,” has become one of the prime targets of critical race theory. After lying about teaching CRT, Los Angeles Unified School District hosted a critical race theorist who taught staff how to “challenge whiteness.”
This summer, The Federalist broke the news that the American Psychoanalytic Association published an article by psychoanalyst Donald Moss that accused whiteness of being a “parasitic condition.” Infamous critical race theorist Robin DiAngelo even wrote a book maligning what she called “well-meaning whiteness.” Now, pale skin has become a target of Hayward Unified School District. Less than 4 percent of the district’s students are white.
A separate contract with Woke Kindergarten revealed that the district paid an additional $7,000 for them to implement learning practices through an “abolitionist lens.” Although the organization’s website domain is expired, their YouTube account displays overtly partisan extremism.
A minute-long video intended for children titled “Spot the Difference” compares images from the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 with Black Lives Matter protests, specifically those that did not result in violence, chaos, arson, or death. By bypassing the numerous examples of leftwing terrorism, Woke Kindergarten teaches children the opposite of reality: that the right is uniquely violent while the left, the very same left that caused at least 25 deaths and up to $2 billion in damage through their riots in 2020, are persecuted victims.
One video fawned over failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams while another called “We Keep Us Safe” includes lines like “fund communities not police,” as well as the slogan “abolish the police.”
The organization’s Instagram account boasts the same extremism, with one post encouraging children to support the “eradication” of America’s borders, which are allegedly “invisible man-made ideas that colonizers created.” In another post, the organization’s founder complains that critical media coverage amounts to far-right violence.
As the name implies, the organization was made to indoctrinate young children into left-wing politics. One post explains that Woke Kindergarten began when its founder led a protest in what appears to be a kindergarten classroom where children made protest signs and chanted “no Donald Trump.”
Through her work with Woke Kindergarten, Gross has collaborated with other critical race theorists such as those at the Bank Street College of Education, where she has been a repeat panelist at the college’s Black Lives Matter at School Conference. Gross gave a speech at the conference in 2019 where she remarked that “we have to burn the whole system down” if we want “black children to thrive in schools,” a remark that earned her a cacophony of applause.
The district also hired Quetzal Education Services for professional development, with two different contracts amounting to a total price tag of $23,000. The organization hosts professional development trainings to “disrupt white fragility” but specializes in injecting CRT into math courses with its anti-racist math workshop series, which trains teachers in “anti-racist math pedagogy.”
Quetzal is too extreme to work within the framework of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a common Trojan horse for CRT. Their website explains, “We are abolitionists and antiracist practitioners. Diversity, inclusion, and tolerance fail to provide the empowering education we seek for Black and Brown youth & our communities because those efforts continue to center whiteness.”
Critical race theorist Lori Watson and her organization Race Work also received a total of $43,000 from the district between two different contracts. Watson, who condemns the U.S. education system as “inherently racist,” was paid by the district to run staff trainings and to run a program called SLAM, an acronym for Student Leaders’ Antiracist Movement. SLAM, like Woke Kindergarten, intends to turn students into leftwing activists.
Watson’s website explains that SLAM is designed to “empower and mobilize them as catalysts for change through an anti-racist leadership youth movement,” continuing to say that students will “develop the skills and tools to disrupt systemic racism.” Watson doesn’t just seek to turn children into allies, she seeks to turn them into “co-conspirators,” echoing a theme found in the curricula of other California public schools.
Public School District Explicitly Endorses CRT
Hayward Unified hasn’t merely contracted the push for CRT out to external organizations. It’s also pushing the corrosive theory directly. One document pertaining to race and equity explicitly mentions CRT. This press release invokes the theory as well and explains that “efforts to develop an Ethnic Studies framework are informed by and will include Critical Race Theory and the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.”
Their anti-bias/anti-racism page is also rife with calls for racism. The “Home” section lauds Dena Simmons, a critical race theorist who said “we can’t let whiteness seep into us” at a taxpayer-funded conference. The page displays a month-by-month breakdown of the push for CRT in the district, with each one focusing on a different topic. One month prominently features the words “you are on Native land.”
Advertising Group That Works to Defund Police
The district’s “Equity and Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism” page features a brochure for staff, families, and students respectively, each of which promotes CRT resources and organizations. Reclaim the Block is one of the organizations advertised in the student brochure.
According to its website, Reclaim the Block “began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety.” The organization believes that “public safety without policing is possible and necessary” and its website features multiple calls to either “divest” from or to “defund” the police.
A number of other organizations are listed on the student brochure including Black Lives Matter and The Audre Lorde Project, which describes itself as “a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center for community organizing.” Although it is linked incorrectly, students are also encouraged to visit the website Unicorn Riot, a far-left media collective that reports favorably on Antifa, the domestic terrorist group that was responsible for much of the chaos during the Black Lives Matter riots.
One book that Kendi recommends is “Black Marxism: The Black Radical Tradition,” which condemns “racial capitalism.”The brochure also gives several book recommendation lists, including a book list from infamous critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi. The list opens with a foreword in which Kendi claims that people can’t become “not racist,” but rather “can only strive to be “antiracist” on a daily basis, to continually rededicate ourselves to the lifelong task of overcoming our country’s racist heritage.” One book that Kendi recommends is “Black Marxism: The Black Radical Tradition,” which condemns “racial capitalism.”
Neither superintendent Wayne nor school board president Oquenda responded to a request for comment.
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