Message from the Principal

From the moment Allah revealed the term ‘Iqra’ to Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of God Be Upon Him), mankind received confirmation of the importance of knowledge. The superiority of Adam (AS) on the angels was established by knowledge according to many scholars. Consequently, knowledge has become the tool of dominance in every society ever since.

Our current society follows the footsteps of its predecessors. Thus, different groups seek to control the institution of knowledge to establish, assert, and maintain their dominance and power over others. Such a quest requires each group to look out for their best interest and not necessarily that of the others. Controlling the institution of knowledge entails vying for authority to set curricula and pedagogies around what the group that has attained dominance has established as the norm. The determination of the norm on which the curricula and pedagogies are centered is an exclusive process reserved only for the elite members of the dominant group. The jostling match to get to the table is fierce, let alone gaining the privilege of getting a piece of the pie for which every discussant is vying. Many criteria are required to get a call to that privilege. And none of the minority groups, be they black, brown, or poor white, possesses the power begotten by the combination of financial wealth, gender, and race. Most of us usually get one of the last two categories and a few of us one of the first two.

Our absence in this process of gaining control of the institution of knowledge leaves us and our communities deprived of the quality of education afforded to the discussants. Therefore, it is imperative that take responsibility of our education and the opportunities it affords us. We must seek and demand a more inclusive education system that will guarantee the same opportunities to us and our communities from here on as it does to the affluent and elite group.

At Universal School of Plainfield, my aim is, to borrow from the great scholar Gloria Ladson-Billings, ‘produce students who can achieve academically, produce students who demonstrate cultural competence, and develop students who can both understand and critique the existing social order’ that begets social injustice. Thus, in collaboration with students, parents, communities, and staff, we will ensure that our curricula and pedagogies live up to that challenge.