Dear Concept Friends and Supporters,
Concept Schools stands with our school communities and condemns the unjust killing of George Floyd. Long-standing social issues such as mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality, coupled with the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic, have forced many Americans to the tipping point of protest and outrage.
All of us at Concept Schools stand in solidarity with those who peacefully protest systemic racism and injustice. We stand with those that have gathered across America in resistance, sorrow, and hope. We share the heartbreak.
“The waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States,” Barack Obama recently shared via Facebook. “The overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring. They deserve our respect and support.”
Concept Schools serves nearly 14,000 students across the Midwest. A disproportionate number are black and brown and attend schools in historically under-served communities like the one where Mr. Floyd was killed. For over 20 years, Concept and its partner schools have been committed to providing a high-quality, free, and public education to historically under-served communities.
As a school community, we are committed to supporting a culturally diverse and welcoming environment with equitable opportunities for all students. We pledge to spread knowledge, empathy, and solidarity in times of confusion and unrest. Our teachers and staff are working tirelessly to incorporate today’s circumstances into teachable moments that will benefit our student body and the neighboring community. We are open, ready, and willing to discuss students’ voices, opinions, and solutions to promote change in racial inequality.
At Concept Schools, we pledge to do the following:
- We pledge to continue to listen and to grow as educators, learning from people of color and all oppressed people throughout the world.
- We pledge to continue our efforts to ensure a more diverse and inclusive community, emphasizing the recruitment, support, and retention of great and talented teachers, especially teachers of color.
- We pledge to continue to build school climates that are restorative and culturally responsive.
- We pledge to continue to prioritize diverse voices in our curriculum and to uplift stories of marginalized peoples and their pursuits of justice around the world.
- We pledge to continue to make all voices heard in the classroom and school, to be receptive to feedback from staff, students, families, and our community.
- We pledge to continue educating students of all backgrounds, to foster a love of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to support students in making the world a more just place.
- We pledge to continue to advocate alongside our students for equity in our community through service-learning, political and civic advocacy, and peaceful protest.
- We pledge to listen and be held accountable for these statements.
This country has an open wound that is crying out for healing. If you are seeking additional information about how you may help our country heal, I encourage you to visit the Obama Foundation for resources to help eradicate violence and systemic racism.
Concept Schools is proud of the diverse communities and nearly 50 languages spoken in our schools on any given day. May the love and respect we have for our students and their families ripple out into our city and nation.
We stand with our brothers and sisters of color in solidarity and promise to continue working with you to achieve racial, economic, gender, and educational equity.