(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A California school district could pay out an estimated six figures for a program to train dozens of high school and middle school students to become “anti-racist” activists, according to publicly available documents.
Martinez Unified School District (MUSD), located in the San Francisco Bay area, unanimously approved a contract with the organization “Race Work” for its “Student Leaders’ Antiracist Movement!” (SLAM) program in September, the Daily Wire first reported. SLAM, which isn’t a mandatory program, is “designed to not just engage students in conversations about race, but to empower and mobilize them as catalysts for change through an anti-racist leadership youth movement,” according to Race Work’s website.
Lori Watson, head of Race Work, presented a proposal to the school district in September that says things like “a subtle micro-aggression” or “being ignored in class” are part of the “negative impact of race and racism” non-white students experience “on a daily basis.”
Watson’s anti-racism program would cost $37,750 for its first year, $37,000 for its second and $34,250 for its final year, for a total of $109,000, the proposal shows. The district signed a contract for one school year worth $37,750 with Watson in September.
“Participants deepen their personal racial understanding and elevate their racial consciousness as they develop the skills and tools to disrupt systemic racism,” Watson’s program proposal continued. Watson expects students participating in the program to “quickly and eagerly immerse themselves in the work, ready to ‘change’ the world.”
The program is broken up into three stages, according to a flyer published by Race Work.
Students will “develop personal racial literacy and consciousness through historical and current contexts; cultivate tools and strategies to engage in discussions about race and identity; as well as develop leadership tools to begin to address and disrupt systemic racism” during the first stage of the program.
In the second stage, students will “articulate and execute their roles as anti-racist leaders in collaboration with their trusted and supportive adult collaborators.” In the program’s third stage, students will “lead the work of anti-racism in ways that are most meaningful to them.
SLAM appears to be in line with the district’s policy on equity.
“The Board shall consider whether its decisions address the needs of students from racial, ethnic, and indigent communities and remedy the inequities that such communities experienced in the context of a history of exclusion, discrimination, and segregation,” MUSD’s equity policy reads.
Race Work has secured other contracts with California school districts in the past.
Hayward Unified School District paid Race Work $43,000 for the SLAM program for two consecutive school years beginning in 2021, according to school board meeting agendas. The district approved an additional $14,000 in payment to Race Work in 2023 for “mandatory professional learning, in support of the HUSD Equity and Anti-Racist policy and mandatory Implicit Bias training.”
San Rafael City Schools paid the group $29,750 for the same program in 2022. San Rafael City Schools is considering continuing SLAM, alongside two other racial equity programs administered by Race Work, which will cost the district $132,250, according to a school board meeting agenda.
The Martinez Unified School Board did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. Watson declined to comment.