For Immediate Release: 06/04/2020
Press Contact: Kendall Massett
Wilmington, DE – June 4, 2020
Over the past week we have witnessed the tragic murder of George Floyd and mourned the loss of his life and those of countless other Black Americans whose lives have been cut short by acts of injustice, violence, and discrimination. We then watched while Americans of all ages and races from across the country joined together in anger, with demands for justice and protests to call for an end to the systemic racism and injustices that continue to plague our communities.
We send our deepest condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family and to all of the Black families who have endured centuries of violence and discrimination. And we stand with our Black community in a demand for justice and the call for meaningful change.
The Delaware Charter Schools Network, the advocacy and support organization for 23 DE charter schools, represents over 16,000 students, their families, and the educators, staff, leaders, and board members of those schools. Just as our charter schools are diverse in the programs they offer, our teachers, staff, leaders and board members are diverse and importantly our schools serve a majority of Black students and their families. In fact, in Delaware, many of our charter schools were formed because educators, parents and community leaders wanted to actively address the inequitable educational opportunities for Black students in our communities.
We do not have all of the answers but we do know that we must listen to the pain, fear and loss that is being expressed and collectively work to make change to address the historic inequalities in our country, including in our public school system. The lives of our Black students and families, teachers, leaders, staff and board members matter.
Our organization will be joining a number of national and state charter school support organizations in their support of the work of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization founded by a former Delawarean, Bryan Stevenson. EJI is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
This is but a first step. While we believe that ensuring that historically underserved students have access to high-quality public schools is part of this transformative work, we recognize that we must do more. We encourage our school leaders to engage in open and honest conversations about the systemic injustices within our society with school staff, students and families. We encourage you to partner with and/or support organizations like EJI that are engaged in challenging these racial and economic injustices. Finally, we ask that you commit to listening to the issues raised by Black Delawareans and actively work with us towards implementing overdue systemic change.