The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are the tip of a mammoth iceberg of racial injustice in our nation.
Behind these three injustices are millions of others, large and small, that, when unaddressed, leave those in power unchecked and emboldened to perpetuate more. As loud as the shouting of protestors may be right now, the sound of silence at the routine, everyday wrongs is the most deafening.
When a Black man in his own yard is assumed to be an intruder. When a birdwatcher is threatened for politely asking a white woman to follow park rules. When a shopper is followed around the store because of the color of her skin. When the promotion goes elsewhere, the pay is lower, and the police baton is wielded sooner. None of these are due to the actions of the victims, but all because of their race. This isn’t just unfair: It’s systematic, psychological warfare.
All of us at Public Impact are grieving with loss and sickened by all of this.
So, what will we do? Our commitment and resolve to fight injustice are only strengthened by current events, and we stand with the many partner organizations making and bolstering these same commitments.
Internally, we will continue to: hold routine, intentional conversations that address racism head on; review and correct policies and management actions for bias, racism, and unfairness; and seek and support a diverse workforce in their professional success. We commit to making improvements every year, knowing we can always do more, and should. We commit to continuing to work toward being an anti-racist organization by ensuring that all team members understand the history of racism in American education, holding ourselves accountable to people of color, and empowering people of color.
Externally, we will continue to make Public Impact’s mission the focus of our time and energies: to improve education dramatically for all students, especially low-income students, students of color, and other students whose needs historically have not been well met. We will continue to partner with educators to achieve this mission. We will improve our work to combat racism within schools and to promote a more equitable, safe, and joyful education system and world for all students. We will share materials our team has developed to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion with other organizations in the field, and seek their wisdom, too.
But we and other education reform organizations must acknowledge that the disparities affecting Black people in our country occur regardless of education levels. Therefore, we also stand with the Black community and others demanding broader, dramatic changes for justice, accountability, equity, and the opportunity to live free from fear. We commit to continuing to do the work of reflecting on our own role in dismantling racism and speaking up more often.
We commit to working with our past, current, and future colleagues in the field for systemic change, knowing that single organizations and political leaders have not achieved the transformation needed to stop racial violence and discrimination.
With grief, anger, and hearts hungry for change,