Dear San Francisco Education Fund Community,
We know these past two weeks have been heart breaking as our country’s racist roots hit a tipping point. We see the pain, anger and suffering that centuries of systemic racism and injustices have caused.
Our country’s students of color, and especially Black students, are suffering most. They see what is happening and they know their own lives are at risk, as well as the lives of their parents, families and neighbors.
The events that we are seeing on the national news occur on a smaller scale in our schools and communities every day. Tragically, racism disproportionally and unjustly impacts Black students in the classroom. Data shows that African American students are more likely to receive disciplinary action than their white counterparts. They also have higher suspension and expulsion rates than their peers who demonstrate similar actions.
The Ed Fund’s core value of equity has guided our work in and out of the classroom for more than 50 years. It shapes our work with students, volunteers, our educator grants, and student scholarships.
We believe that Black lives matter and are committed to this work.
We envision a world where students’ academic success is in no way linked to their skin color. A world where all young people and their families are safe.
We can build this world by being actively anti-racist in every interaction we have.
Please know that we are with the you during these difficult times and always.
Our diverse team of education experts and social justice advocates have assembled a few resources about anti-racism and culturally responsive ways for working with youth. Because we know you believe actions speak louder than words, we are sharing these resources with you:
• Teaching Tolerance, a project by the Southern Poverty Law Center, periodically updates its package on teaching about race, racism, and police violence.
• The New York Times’ Learning Network shared an article about the protests, along with discussion questions, and opened comments for students to share their opinion.
• USA Today put together a list of anti-racist books.
• The Bay Area chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) hosts events and offers resources for people with privilege to promote the work of organizations led by communities of color. Check out their COVID-19 & Racial Justice resource listing
• National Education Association’s Black Lives Matter at School resource listing
• Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit and publisher committed to the vision that public education is central to the creation of a humane, caring, multiracial democracy
• Follow the work of local SF Visitación Valley Middle School Principal Joe Truss who hosts the website Culturally Responsive Leadership, full of resources and rich conversation.
• Where to donate to bail funds supporting protestors against police brutality
As the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said in his letter from the Birmingham Jail in 1963, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Thank you for your continued commitment to building more equity and opportunity into our public schools and local communities through your support of our work.
Together, we are making a difference.