DURHAM, N.C. -- Students and schools are preparing to address the racial violence we witnessed across the country this summer.

Durham Public Schools is in the planning stages of launching a new online program to pilot in the fall. "LEADurham" will teach leadership and advocacy skills as it relates to equity in our communities. Matthew Hickson, director of online learning, is leading those efforts.

Daniel Bullock, executive director of equity affairs, said shortly after George Floyd's murder, faculty and staff participated in a "We Are Not OK: Proccessing Racial Violence in America" professional development session.

"It's fine for there to be some areas where we are not totally on the same page as we enter," Bullock says. "And that's OK, but we do want to move together and work together towards a more constructive end."

He says it's important for teachers to have tough conversations where students are able to adequately express themselves.

Some groups, like Hillside High School's Acting Troupe, ONE VOICE, are already doing that. Current Hillside students and alums put together a piece on how they are interpreting the protests and movement from this summer. The piece is called, "Being Black in America."

Students Kaia Brown and Ziona Hinton say they learned about the Civil Rights Movement and racism in school, but never thought they would witness it first hand.

"I was kind of scared because we are literally protesting for something that is life or death, and could kill us," Brown says.

Hinton says their group will continue to speak out for change.

"We are human like everyone else," says Hinton. "And we just want to be loved the same way and treated the same way that everyone else would be."

Bullock says the school district is making sure it continues to listen to student voices like these.

"In this season, we really have a chance to fundamentally shift some of the things we do in education," says Bullock.

More details are to come on the new LEADurham program.