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News and Opinion May 29, 2020

Statement on Violence Against Peoples of Color

Turnaround for Children is committed to empowering educators to redesign our education systems, in order to create equitable outcomes for children. From our work using the science of learning and development and our social and historical learning, we know that structural and individual racism does not exist solely within the education system. It exists in all of our country’s systems – education, healthcare, housing, law enforcement, voting rights, mass incarceration, food distribution, and more.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve watched increasing media coverage of police brutality against Black people. We have witnessed and been reminded of countless murders of Black people, especially Black men. This violence is not new and not a series of isolated events. This violence reflects the White supremacist system that was intentionally designed to prevent peoples of Color from accessing power, opportunity, wealth, other resources, and, ultimately, the opportunity to pursue the lives they choose. It also provides a lens into what many of the students we serve experience on a day-to-day basis — lack of safety, fear, and the awareness that our country’s systems were designed to dehumanize them.

We also know that COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting and harming communities of Color. Students of Color are far more likely than White students to experience physical, economic, and emotional hardship due to the systematic allocation of power and resources away from their communities. These include access to testing, healthcare, financial supports and safety nets, and housing insecurity.

Turnaround stands with those who have experienced and continue to experience racial violence and oppression. We recognize our collective liberation requires those holding power and privilege to take action. Our commitment is to contribute to the disruption and ultimate eradication of structural racism and oppression, in and beyond the education system. We, as an organization and as individuals, stand for equity, and are calling on those in our communities to do the same. We cannot, and will not, be silent— and we encourage everyone to join us.