“The horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and resulting wave of protests across the country reminds us of a painful truth about our nation’s past and indeed the current times we live in. 

At Communities In Schools® (CIS™), the majority of students we serve are children of color and children living in poverty. Our mission is to surround them with a community of support to empower them to succeed in school and in life, despite immediate and systemic barriers. Too often, these students are left behind by structures that were not designed for their success. 

We should not only teach students how to navigate and survive the system, we must also name and break those barriers to create and sustain equitable outcomes.
For far too long, our communities of color have experienced racism, economic inequality, and discrimination. Unfortunately, those forces remain today and can show up in violent ways that result in the deaths of innocent people. Other times, they become embedded into the institutions our students rely on—law enforcement, justice system, education, housing, health care, employment practices–and cause generational harm.

Right now, we ask our young people to set aside their self-doubt and continue to believe in their unlimited potential. We tell them that if they work hard and graduate, a world of possibilities still awaits them. But, we cannot allow racism and police brutality to be among those possibilities.

We must acknowledge the anger and pain being felt by those young people as well as our own family members, friends, and neighbors across the CIS network. And we must work together toward a day when all our children live in a country where they are celebrated for their diversity and treated fairly, not as a privilege but as a right.”