Photo by Lorie Shaull.
The events of the past week and a half—the murder of George Floyd by police like countless others before him and the subsequent demonstrations against police brutality in Minneapolis and across the country—have been harrowing and painful. Like you, we feel deep sadness and anger.
We know the biases, policies, practices, and legacies that undergird institutional racism throughout society are equally present in American education. Our system of policing, intended to protect and serve, threatens Black lives; so too our system of education, intended to nurture and uplift, too often fails to honor the full humanity and potential in Black students.
We seek learning that honors the lived experiences and identities of all students, demands meaningful relationships between students and adults who care about them, and ultimately closes persistent education gaps that harm students of color, particularly Black students.
This is not a time to sit on the fence. It is a time for difficult conversations with each other and with ourselves. To keep learning how racism, oppression, and white supremacy present in our schools and impact all students and adults in the building. We commit to these conversations, to this learning, and to working tirelessly to disrupt and dismantle these systems.
In the coming months, EE will use this space to amplify the voices of Black students who experience racism in education every day—those so often left unheard in press conferences and media interviews but with so much to say. We need to listen to them, especially now.
As we collectively fight for justice, our communities are simultaneously grieving, protecting, healing, and rebuilding. We have spent these past days taking care of our families and neighbors, and checking in on our colleagues in schools. We urge you to support our Minneapolis colleagues at Migizi and Minnesota Transitions Charter School, who have suffered immeasurable damage recently.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to George Floyd’s family and those who knew and loved him.
The Education Evolving Team
Alex, Amy, Danyika, Lars, & Marcus