Our hearts are heavy, with the shooting of yet another Black man at the hands of police brutality. Our minds are burdened, as our nation continues to grapple with recognizing the depth of its own white supremacist ideology. Our pain is deep, as we live in the sure knowledge that we will soon be met with a new, entirely avoidable and senseless death of one of our Black brothers or sisters. 

We at Lifting As We Climb stand in unity with all Black and brown people, and affirm that Black Lives Matter. We affirm Black Dreams Matter. We affirm Black Hopes Matter. We affirm Black Families Matter. We affirm Black Futures Matter.

Racism is embedded in the very fiber of our nation. Racism is a tangible thread woven into the founding of this country, with pervasive ties to all of our major institutions even now, four hundred years after the first Black body arrived here in chains at the hands of white settlers. Racism rings out and claims the lives of Black people from our White House, our courthouses, our police departments, our hospital systems, our neighborhoods, and our educational systems. 

Racism is a real and present danger in our K-12 Education system. If we are to change course and facilitate a brighter, less dangerous future for our Black and brown students, we must name and confront this reality sure in the knowledge that all we do, we do with love for our students, their families, and their futures. Actionable opportunities for change exist within our education system to identify, address, and destroy racism and white supremacist cultural norms. We must grasp each opportunity tightly, speak loudly, and stand for ourselves and our children. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We all must come together to educate and act to dismantle and destroy the culture of white supremacy that has been fostered to permeate every aspect of our society.

The shooting of Jacob Blake is yet another senseless act at the hands of the culture of white supremacy and police brutality. America must denounce, once and for all, the twin mentalities of white supremacy and Black inferiority, or we will never be free from our racist history. We must all do this work together. It is not only necessary, it is vital, that white people recognize their privileged position and the systemic dehumanization of Black and brown people, and take strong, immediate, decisive action. America’s redemption lies only in her willingness to atone for what she has done. Anything less is disingenuous and any solution that fails to recognize racism’s roots will fail. 
We all must stand tall and take action to uproot white supremacist ideology and racist institutions. The lives of all of our students depend on it. The lives of our students’ families depend on it. The future of our nation depends on it.