We must teach children that George Floyd didn’t die in vain

We must teach children that George Floyd didn’t die in vain

I write this post with a heavy heart. The news of yet another unarmed black man dying in the hands of white police officers—this time, George Floyd, a 46-year-old father of two—is unbelievably painful.

As someone who leads an organization that serves educators and children, I am frustrated, angry, and simply exhausted that this continues to happen. Structural racism is unacceptable. And it cannot be ignored. We must be part of changing the reality our colleagues and students of color live through every day.

At NWEA, we believe in a future for all kids and creating an environment where all students flourish regardless of race. An environment where learning opportunities are equitable. The issues people of color experience on a daily basis, from microaggressions to violence, throw out any preconceptions of a level playing field.

As an organization, we are working to create a stronger collective voice and are listening better, learning more, and growing as individuals. Our assessment solutions are helping mitigate bias in schools, but I know that’s not enough. We must back our words with more action. I look forward to collaborating with you to effect real, positive, and life-saving change.

The issues people of color experience on a daily basis, from microaggressions to violence, throw out any preconceptions of a level playing field.

As we all grieve George Floyd and begin to move forward in his honor—and in honor of all the black men, women, and children who unjustly died before him—I encourage you to consider small but significant changes you can make to improve equity in your school or district. There are many lists of resources that can help educate kids and adults alike on anti-racism. And, if you’re able, support one of the countless organizations speaking up for marginalized youth, including Portland-based Momentum Alliance.

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