Centering Anti-Racist Approaches to Conversations with Families and Colleagues
McKinney-Vento liaisons are responsible for the identification, enrollment, and the removal of educational barriers for students experiencing homelessness. McKinney-Vento liaisons can create meaningful change in their districts and the lives of students experiencing homelessness by providing internal trainings and connecting students to educational resources and community referrals. Unfortunately, due to systemic racism across many aspects of American life, Black, Latinx, Native American, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities experience homelessness at disproportionate rates compared to white and Asian communities. Systemic racism exists in schools; therefore, it is crucial for McKinney-Vento liaisons to reflect on school protocols and narratives that reinforce racial bias and inequity. Even small intentional changes, such as in our semantics, can have positive effects on family relationships and ultimately, the well-being and success of students. We created this tip sheet to help McKinney-Vento liaisons and other school staff reflect on their own communication styles, race, and how institutional racism impacts students and families.