Dear Breakthrough Families,
I write today to share my overwhelming feelings of outrage, frustration, and unspeakable sadness for the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and for what it says yet again about the experiences of our black colleagues, families, scholars, and friends. In a week already filled with an offensive video of a white woman in Central Park intentionally manipulating racial biases by calling the police with patently false accusations against a black man, and in a time where we saw Ahmaud Arbery gunned down while jogging and Breanna Taylor shot in her own home, we continue to mourn the tragedy of more senseless deaths and trauma driven by structural racism in our society.
As a citizen of this country, I am appalled by the injustice and inhumanity of it all. But, as the leader of a network of schools in Cleveland serving black and brown children, I am acutely aware that for many of our families, the fear engendered by these outrageous acts is personal and real. It speaks to the very lives of our scholars and their families in ways that I can never fully appreciate as a white man.
Please know that at Breakthrough Public Schools, we exist to bring promise to a better day. We are committed to confronting bias and bigotry wherever it appears and to working with our families to secure a better, safer future for all our scholars. We see this work as being an integral part of the day-to-day work in our schools and classrooms. Our kids have limitless potential, and we know it is part of our role to help them find their own passions, power, and happiness, despite the racism that envelops our world.
Through that work, we join hands in solidarity with all those in our communities who say enough is enough, and commit for the long haul to find that path to equity. While this fight will not be won quickly or easily, if we do our work well, it is our children who will see it to the finish line.
CEO, Breakthrough Public Schools