We are living through heartbreaking, horrific, and deeply troubling times. We are struggling to understand the violent killing of George Floyd at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect. His death is emblematic of countless other killings, and systemic racism pervades every aspect of our nation. All of this as we struggle through a pandemic and the multiple inequities of its impact. We stand with communities of color, and particularly the Black community, and recommit to fighting racism through our work.
First, we remain deeply committed to our organization’s focus on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion to dig deeper, listen, and to heighten our own introspection, understandings, and skills so that we continue to grow in our ability to highlight and mitigate inequities and teach others to do the same in the schools and school systems where we work. We recognize this work as an on-going journey that is never completed.
Second, we will continue to question and revise our practices, strategies, and advocacy to ensure that we are not unwittingly complicit in continuing to support institutional racism and the inequities it has spawned in our education system. We commit to ensuring that our interactions with schools and their communities proactively raise questions of social justice and support our partner schools and districts in addressing them.
Third, we will continue to support our team and educators across the country by listening, learning, and acting to advance social justice in our schools. Because this work can’t be done in isolation, we will seek opportunities for collective action that confront the institutional racism that destroys opportunity and has, since our nation’s founding, held back too many students of color.
These actions don’t rise to the enormity of the challenges before us, but we believe they are a place to start. We embrace them with the sense of responsibility that our times demand.