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Zinnia Un will help create a policy against hate speech, begin conversation about school resource officers.

COURTESY TTSD - Zinnia UnThe Tigard-Tualatin School District has named Zinnia Un as its first director of equity and inclusion.

Un, who spent the last nine years as a learning specialist and equity coordinator at Twality Middle School, will put an emphasis on institutionalizing systems that will dismantle historic practices of systematic racism in district schools, policies, and curriculum.

Her role includes working closely with the School Board, superintendent and the assistant superintendent in advancing the district's mission to "Educate Every Child" with a dedicated focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

"There is no work more important for our district right now and Zinnia is the perfect leader to step into this role," Assistant Superintendent Lisa McCall said in a news release. "This position will champion real transformation in our district like no other time. District leadership is ready to listen to and learn from Director Un, and roll up our sleeves to ultimately set the example for what an inclusive education system looks like."

Un's immediate priorities, in partnership with the board and administrators, will include convening diverse voices as the district commits to creating a Hate Speech Board Policy; creating and executing a plan in support of TTSD Board Resolution 1920-19, which is a student-inspired anti-racist district resolution; and leading community and local governments in conversation around the district's school resource officers.

"Racism and systems of injustice impact all of us, some at a higher cost than others so we must know our community, who is in it, our struggles as well as our strengths because only we can solve the problems ahead of us. I bring that weight and responsibility to this position," Un said. "I also bring the knowledge that those in our community have what it takes to bring our commitments to addressing injustices and personal responsibility to our collective reality. We are not stuck in the loop of inaction. No one will save us, we are our own problem-solvers, creative collaborators, and advocates for justice, equity, and inclusion. It will take all of us, all the time, always."

For the past three years, Un led the district's equity initiatives to include professional development of leadership, teachers, and staff.

Other duties will include assessing potential barriers for students and their families in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as contributing to district strategies to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, dedicating resources to data-verified areas of identified disparities.

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