In Solidarity with Antiracist Action for Educational Justice
We are heartbroken, grieving, and angry at the continuing murder of Black men and women, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and Ahmaud Arbery along with countless others, named and unnamed. These horrific killings are directly connected to the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately ravaging Black and indigenous communities; both are the result of the racist white supremacy intertwined with the history of this nation since before its founding.
These events are causing suffering and uncovering unhealed wounds. As educators, we recognize that our education system is entrenched in institutional racism, and also has the potential to be a powerful force for change. For the sake of our students, teachers, leaders, staff, and communities across this country, we are determined to move forward. Together we must create a future where the idea that students are not safe going for a jog, entering a store, standing in their backyard, or even sleeping in their own home will be as unthinkable as it should be today.
EL Education is continuing to take a critical look at ourselves: our 27-year history is rooted in beliefs about equity, but we must clearly and urgently be an anti-racist organization, even as we are still on a journey to fully embody all that means in our work and in our actions. We know that our journey is possible because of the work and risks taken by Black and antiracist leaders before us.
Each of you—students, teachers, leaders, staff, families, supporters—brings strengths to the movement. Let’s bring together those strengths for justice now.
Ground your action in knowledge:
- Policing in America: Using Powerful Topics and Tasks to Challenge, Engage, and Empower Students (EL Education)
- What Teachers Should Learn from the Murder of George Floyd (Larry Ferlazzo blog, Education Week)
- The Pandemic is a Portal, Arundhati Roy (Financial Times)
- Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror (Equal Justice Initiative)
For white educators, in a teaching force that is 80% white, the following resources are helpful for taking ownership and action:
- What White Colleagues Need to Understand (Teaching Tolerance)
- 10 Things Every White Teacher Should Know When Talking About Race (Angela Watson)
- From Saviorism to Co-Conspiring (Promise54)
- Scene on Radio: Seeing White podcast