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Carli Lowe Receives POCIS 2013 Teacher Tribute Award

Friday, March 8, 2013

CDS third grade teacher Carli Lowe has received the POCIS (People of Color in Independent Schools) 2013 Teacher Tribute Award for her work in racial justice in an independent school.  We are proud of the work that our teachers do and extremely pleased that CDS has won this award two years in a row. The 2012 winner was Melanie Liu, a CDS middle school humanities teacher. 

As I said in the nomination letter for this award, “Carli has positively impacted students and colleagues at CDS by encouraging them to participate in our dialogues around diversity and by taking a leadership role in parent education. Please see this video from a parent education forum on how students of various ages understand difference.

Carli’s work directly impacts students because of the bonds she creates with them. She works tirelessly on the Committee on Inclusion and Diversity teacher work group, helping to document the social justice curriculum at CDS and supporting our student affinity groups. Carli is a native San Franciscan and attended San Francisco Day School. She brings a unique perspective to her work, understanding the challenges students of color face even in schools with a diverse student population. Last year, Carli led a group of teachers who piloted a lunchtime affinity group for students of African heritage. The groups were very successful. Below are quotes from two parents whose daughters participated:

Meaza Admasu, parent of second grader Liya, said: 
It hasn't been too long since the program started; however, I've already noticed the positive impact it has on her. Liya told me she looks forward to the pizza party and when asked why she said, "They like the real me." This is such positive feedback and I hope you will continue the great work you have started.

Akilah Bixler, parent of second grader Brickelle Bixler, said: 
Brickelle does not classify herself by her skin color or her multi-racial ethnicity, but she is very aware of her curly hair. I remember how excited and profoundly empowered she was to have two teachers (Ms. Luisa and Ms. Moriah) with curly hair in kindergarten. She may look around the room of the pizza party and only see curly hair - I am not quite sure. Regardless, I know it is a community she enjoys spending time with, being a part of, and in her words, "is grateful for." 

Carli gave up her summer break last year to help train young student teachers in South Africa who will take on the daunting task of rebuilding failing schools in the townships of South Africa. She is a leader in her community, and in this important work, she is making a difference on two continents. Children's Day School has the best teachers and CDS appreciates the special honor of winning this award in two consecutive years, a testament to the excellent work on racial and social justice being done at the school. 

Carli models the core values that are at the heart of the CDS mission. Her work and dedication to her students is a wonderful example of why our graduates go on to become passionate citizens who change the world.