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KPBS Midday Edition

Sisters Calling Attention To Racism In Poway Unified Prompts Changes

A post from BlackInPSUD on Instagram in this screengrab on June 25, 2020.
Screen grab via Instagram
A post from BlackInPSUD on Instagram in this screengrab on June 25, 2020.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests last spring and summer, teenaged sisters Nene and Ekene Okolo are bringing the issue of systemic racism at Poway Unified School District to light.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests last spring and summer, teenaged sisters Nene and Ekene Okolo are bringing the issue of systemic racism among students and faculty at Poway Unified School District to light and their efforts have made a big impact.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the sisters created an Instagram account, Black in PUSD, in June, that has received more than 1,200 anonymous responses from former and current students, faculty, staff and parents detailing experiences of racism including racial slurs, threats and microaggressions at schools from elementary to high school in the Poway Unified School District.

RELATED: Poway Unified Addresses Allegations Of Racism Posted On Social Media

Working with the sisters, the district has begun taking steps to address racism in its schools including last week passing a racial equity & inclusion plan, expanding the curriculum to include ethnic studies and ethnic literature courses, and hiring 13 new staff including teachers who are Black.

Kristen Taketa, education reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune, joined Midday Edition on Monday to discuss the impact that the social media campaign begun by the Okolo sisters is having.