Dear partners, friends, and colleagues,
Last week, we released a statement condemning the brutality of racism and committing to double down in our efforts to fight for racial equity. Our team and Board stand together to say, “Black Lives Matter!” and to do our part to dismantle systemic racism.
As the heinous, public murder of George Floyd has forced America to confront the brutal systemic racism upon which this country was built, we have looked inward at our own efforts to end systemic racism and to live our core value to work intentionally to disrupt patterns of racial inequity. Since our founding four years ago, we have worked to be a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization and have proudly supported grantees like The Equity Lab, Parents Amplifying Voices in Education, Promise54, SchoolTalk, and Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys, who explicitly work at the intersection of racial equity and education. We also are implementing a school improvement strategy that is anchored in the concept of ending racism using diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, which are foundational to school success.
Yet, we have much more work to do to embed the tenets of racial justice within our organization and throughout our schools and city: to uphold the voices of our Black colleagues, leaders, students, and families, and to ensure that every decision our organization, our schools, and our city makes is through the lens of racial justice. We must do our part to eliminate the trauma of centuries of the miseducation of Black persons, and to extinguish the ideologies of privilege and supremacy that undergird all of our actions, resources, and funding efforts.
Our five-year strategic plan is coming to an end next summer, and we are planning our next phase of work amidst an upended school year, a global pandemic that disproportionately affects our Black and Latinx communities, and the stark reminder of the racism that persists in every thing that we do.
We have made progress toward many of our goals in our strategic plan, including prioritizing support for leaders of color and directing a majority of our grants toward organizations led by a Black or Latinx executive director or board chair. But we must do more.
As Education Forward DC builds its next direction, we will be having conversations internally and with our partners to deliver on our promise to seek to end racism and promote racial justice. We commit to fund even more grantees led by Black leaders and other leaders of color, and to continue to talk and listen within our organization and publicly about how we are addressing racism. You will hear more from us — on what we are struggling with, what we are investing in, and what ideas we are pursuing.
We are working towards the creation of a nation that is just and equitable. We must and will act to uproot systemic racism and to fight racial inequity in order to see such a nation during our lifetimes.
Reverend Doctor Kendrick E. Curry
Chief Executive Officer