We can no longer wait for another generation to pass while the slow lever of policy change takes hold. We must insist on a new kind of change now, change that will remedy the injustices that have been waged on Black communities for generations and end deeply embedded and persistent racism. We stand with our communities of color to insist on justice. We have simply not done enough to ensure equitable treatment and opportunity – in education, income, health, and safety.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought inequities experienced by people with low-incomes and families of color into stark relief, coupled with recent events of police brutality giving rise to state, national, and international protests – we know education is undoubtedly part of the solution. Yet, we have simply failed to deliver on the promise of education for African American students and other students of color. This is unacceptable.
As a citizen-led Committee, we commit to doubling down on our longstanding call for greater equity in education outcomes, for greater systemic and community accountability for the progress of each and every one of our students. We will continue to press policymakers to invest in adequate and equitable education – early childhood through postsecondary – and an accountability system that ensures each Kentucky student has the opportunities and the support to develop, without fear, and to meet and exceed their potential.
As we move out of the immediate and begin to reflect more deeply on the history that has led us, as a state and a nation, to this moment, we call on all of our elected and appointed leaders to require competency in cultural responsiveness and implicit bias for all those working, or training to work, in the public sector. We commit to doing the same with our staff, board, membership, parent leaders and student leaders beginning, with great urgency, this summer.
We cannot bring back Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery or countless others. We can, and will, be part of the solution that helps ensure their deaths and the pain their families and communities are experiencing – the pain of generations come to the fore – are not in vain.