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From Our Board: Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

A Message from the Schools for Children Board of Trustees

The tragic events of the last few weeks, including the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks have left our hearts broken. For far too long, Black Americans have faced pervasive discrimination in our society resulting in unacceptable disparities in education, health, economic opportunity, criminal justice, and political influence. These inequities must end, and organizations like ours must work to dismantle the systems that marginalize and harm students of color.

 

Schools for Children is founded on the idea that education is the surest pathway for creating positive social change, achieving equality, and strengthening our democracy. We believe that every child deserves respect for who they are and equal access to a high-quality education—without regard to their race, gender, socioeconomic status, or ability. That is the core principle upon which this organization was founded, and it is a principle that has guided us for more than 70 years.

 

We also believe that, as an organization committed to education, we have a special responsibility when it comes to social justice. We acknowledge that our society’s progress has been inadequate. We need to examine the role that education has played in social inequities. We need to listen more attentively to the communities of color we work with and serve. We need to unlearn and relearn what causes inequality and how to respond. We need to do better.

 

The Trustees seek to increase Schools for Children’s commitment to greater equity in education and to be a better and more effective ally.

 

  1. We will learn to be a stronger advocate for Black students who are excluded from schools at higher rates than average.
  2. As a community and as individuals, we will question our own biases, conscious and unconscious:
    • How are we complicit in systems that hinder positive change?
    • Where can our organization have the most impact?
    • What can we do to be more inclusive and effective?
    • What must we stop doing?

 

Over the course of the next six months, we will roll out a series of initiatives designed to surface our own biases, strengthen our organization, enhance the quality of the education we offer, and address racism in the systems we are part of. We welcome inquiries, feedback, criticism and conversation.

 

We also encourage you to read Executive Director Paul Stein’s message to the community as well as those of a number of our program heads