The Time Is Now
Dear GSE community,
The murder of George Floyd shocks the conscience, and yet the sad truth is that this is nothing new. Last year, we commemorated 400 years since the injustice of the first enslaved Africans touching down in Jamestown, Virginia. This connects to the crimes being committed today against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others.
At High Tech High GSE, current events have catalyzed both new and ongoing conversations. These conversations lead us to be clearer and more focused on systemic educational reform to achieve social, cultural, environmental, economic, and racial justice. We believe that Black educators, students, and voices matter. We strive to embody antiracist practice and pedagogy, recognizing as Ibram X. Kendi states that “the opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘antiracist.’” We believe the antiracist practice is in service of better outcomes for students of color and is necessary to decenter Whiteness and disrupt White Supremacy Cultural norms.
At the same time, we recognize that as an institution we have not always lived up to our own ideals and need to continue to grow as teachers, as leaders, and as human beings. This means taking a critical look at ourselves and our own history and holding space for conversations about diversity, equity, and integration, and especially race. This means interrogating how some of our actions as an institution have maintained and continue to perpetuate systems of oppression for people of color, including for our own students and staff.
While we face multiple challenges at this moment, we also see multiple opportunities for deep reflection, for activism, for culturally relevant programming, and for partnership. We look to those opportunities to guide concrete next steps and are committed to continuing our individual and collective journeys towards more just practice. We welcome your thoughts and feedback.
We can do better. We must do better. We will do better. And we start now.