A Statement in Solidarity with Black Lives
There are so many words to say, yet not nearly enough to ever capture the feelings and complexities of these times.
We live in a society, in a country, that was not designed for the very communities we as a field are in and work with daily. America was never truly designed to provide BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) with equality under the law, and equal access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our justice systems, economic systems, education systems, health systems, and all our other systems were designed to oppress these very people.
This violence is systemic, structural, and oppressive by design.
As Bettina L. Love, wrote in an EdWeek Opinion article last year, How Schools Are ‘Spirit Murdering’ Black and Brown Students, “…racism robs people of color of their humanity and dignity and leaves personal, psychological, and spiritual injuries. Racism is traumatic because it is a loss of protection, safety, nurturance, and acceptance—all things children need to enter school and learn.”
We grieve, we are angry, we are hurt – but we are not surprised by the events unfolding over the last few weeks, as our work has always been about addressing these inequities in our society. We are committed to action, we are committed to a new vision of America, a system that is designed for all of our children and families, including our black children and families, for all lives can never matter until black lives matter.
The CAN Team, as an organization and as individuals, absolutely and unequivocally believe that Black Lives Matter. We stand for equity, we stand with those who experience violence and oppression simply for the color of their skin. We are committed to dismantling racism, violence, and oppression in our education systems, and all of our systems. We call on each and every one of you to join us.
We have spent the last few days supporting one another and checking in with and supporting our community. We have also begun sharing resources out on social media. But we know many of you may not have seen or heard us, so we are issuing this statement and call to action to every single one of you.
In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to surface resources and tools that support you to address our current human context. In the meantime, here are some resources and articles you might want to consider:
- What if…..White People Took Responsibility for Our Role in this Moment? - Kathleen Osta, National Equity Project
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice – Corinne Shutack
- Racism and inequity are products of design. They can be redesigned. - Equity Meets Design
- The American Nightmare – Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University
- Race Matters Organizational Self-Assessment – Annie E. Casey Foundation
- CAN COVID-19 Equity Resources (this section will be expanded in the coming days and weeks)
If you are looking for more to learn, to act, here are just a few of the organizations that have long supported this work. We will continue to share more in the coming weeks.
In closing, we invite you, and encourage you, to join us while we continue to explore what it means to be anti-racist and how that value can strengthen and move our work in ways that address the needs of all children and families, every day.
“The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.” — Ijeoma Oluo
In Community and Solidarity,
The CAN Team
– Jeff Davis
– Tiffany Gipson
– Heather Williams
– Troy Selvey
– Paige Bellanca