The reDesign team stands with Black communities, Black Lives Matter, and each of the many organizations and individuals fighting to honor, support and protect them. We mourn the loss of the many fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who have been murdered merely for the color of their skin. Your life is precious. Your breath is sacred. We say your names. Black Lives Matter. Each and every one.
The centuries-long systematic dehumanization of Black people in America has continued unchecked in our systems, institutions and communities in horrifying and cruel ways. Our history and current systems are a legacy of deliberately designed racist and exploitatiive bliefs and practices, laws and policies. This is the moment to end police brutality, unchecked police violence and abuses of power, defunding police forces so we can invest in the services and resources that BIPOC communities have been denied for far too long. We are deeply grateful for all of the soulful, courageous, loving, raging, steely leadership and activism, demonstrated throughout American history, that has made it possible for this moment to happen. I am particularly grateful to the founders and the members of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Over the past six years, you have laid a path for all of us, and in this moment, we (white Americans) are finally following your footsteps.
We hope that the next moment will address the dismantling of the structural racism that literally upholds the American educational system. As long-time educators who have benefited from the system of oppression at the center of our system, reDesign is committed to, and is ongoingly engaged in, examining and reforming our own organization. *We have learned from and adopted the position of Ibram Kendi and others that there is no such stance as “non-racist,” only racist and anti-racist. At reDesign, this means we are actively working to identify internal policies and practices that we might previously have conceived of as “non-racist,” (e.g., such as our approach to hiring, performance evaluation, or staff development) and we are taking aggressive steps to rebuild and implement explicitly anti-racist policies and practices. We have work to do. As we become a truly inclusive, anti-racist community of educators we will actively support the reinvention of education as a network of unique learner-centered communities fully embodying values of equity, diversity, and belonging, brought to life through culturally sustaining practices and pedagogies.
As of today, the news recounts that there are small glimmers of change in the air. May we all remain in the streets (in whatever ways we can, literally and figuratively) until a transformative, equitable, and humanist approach to safety, protection, and well-being is created, and extended to all with open arms instead of billy clubs.
We are listening and learning, and we know there is much more we need to understand. We are allies and followers. We will meet you in the streets.
With peace and solidarity,
Antonia and the reDesign Team