A Program of Schools for Children

Anti-Racism Task Force

The purpose of the Anti-Racism Collective is to make thoughtful and purposeful action against racism inside Lesley Ellis School and the broader community.

Land Acknowledgement: (statement and photo to complement?)

Message from Deanne

At the heart of Lesley Ellis School has always been an anti-bias curriculum that is very much a part of the life of our school from preschool through grade 8. It’s infused in everything we do. It’s a way of life. From the books students read to the perspectives students study in history we look at everything through an anti-bias lens.

During the summer of 2020, while the Coronavirus pandemic was raging, so too was another pandemic and it’s one that won’t be solved with a vaccine … that of racial injustice. In September 2020, the school’s Advisory Board created an Anti-Racism Task force with a goal to  thoughtfully learn more about and take purposeful action against racism. Under the leadership of Advisory Board member, Erika Soong, and school counselor, Janelle Provencher, 38 members of the school community, both parents and faculty members, came together initially to actively support this anti-racism initiative. Out of this larger group, three areas of focus were established: activism, community outreach, and community education.

As the 2020-2021 school year progressed, the task force evolved into a standing committee in order to maintain both the momentum established the first year and to stay connected with the faculty and the broader school community. The initiatives underway now are an outgrowth of the initial task force and most importantly have risen out of the commitment of the Lesley Ellis community to take thoughtful and purposeful action against racism.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, April 14
7 – 8 pm


The affinity space is open to members of our community who can speak from the “I” perspective. If you are a BIPOC or your family is mixed race, please join us!

We will spend time as a group discussing how to make sure all members of our community feel safe, seen, and supported. Please come as your authentic selves and ready to dig in!

Register Here
Zoom Link

Thursday, May 13
7 – 8 pm


In what ways is racism and anti-racism showing up in your life? Bring your thoughts, questions, and ponderings and join us as we learn together and support one another along the journey.

Register Here
Zoom Link to Come


Stay tuned for more information about a community book read for the summer.



Consider purchasing any books listed below from a Black-owned bookstore. Here are two based in MA:

Roxbury: https://frugalbookstore.net/
Springfield: http://olivetreebooksonline.com/

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson


  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco (free on Amazon prime)
  • The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
  • 13th (free on Youtube)
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
  • One Night in Miami (free on Amazon prime)
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Notes From the Field (HBO)
  • John Oliver’s video explaining the origins and flaws of our policing and carceral systems
  • Segregated by DesignExamine the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy. Visit their website for more
  • Ted Talk on Courageous Conversations

Peniel Joseph interview – The Path to Racial Equity: Practical Steps to a More Equal Society


Seeing White by Scene on Radio – a 14 part series unpacking the concept of “whiteness”

Ruth Wilson Gilmore on Abolition for the Intercept podcast

Pod Save the People (weekly podcast) Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with analysis from Sam Sinyangwe, Kaya Henderson, and De’Ara Balenger.  Then he sits down for deep conversations with experts, influencers, and diverse local and national leaders.  New episodes every Tuesday

1619 Podcast by the New York Times on how slavery has transformed America

❖Callie Crosley’s radio program Under the Radar

Nice White Parents podcast (by the New York Times)



Little Learner Series

Join us virtually for one of our Little Learners Series on the first Thursday of every month. This series is for parents and children ages 2 – 5. There will be stories, songs, and a variety of fun, educational activities. Invite a friend or neighbor. The Little Learners Series is free.

Register for one or more of the Little Learners Series here.