Denver, CO—The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others are horrific reminders of the extent to which racism exists in our country. The McREL community grieves for the victims and their families, and for all people who continue to be systemically mistreated, oppressed, and denied equal rights because of explicit and implicit racism, bigotry, and bias.
McREL was founded in the 1960s as part of the Great Society platform combatting poverty and inequality. Our charge was to discover effective teaching and leadership strategies and share them broadly with all schools so that all students would benefit. We have always believed that a quality education is a foundational civil right, from which all others flow. We’re proud of what we have accomplished, but clearly it hasn’t been enough. It is time to renew our commitment and be explicit about fighting systemic racism. We seek to support educators and ensure that all students have access to an equitable and transformative education.
To be clear, McREL opposes all forms of racism, marginalization, and discrimination. We support the black community and all others who are seeking justice, equity, and positive changes across society. Every person—and especially those whose families have for centuries been denied fair justice, freedom, and opportunity—deserves to live free from oppression, racism, and discrimination.
We acknowledge that we have to be part of the solution, committing as individuals and as an institution to promote inclusivity and equity. As we have heard so often in relation to the pandemic, we’re all in this together. The same is true of injustice. If people are oppressed in any way, we are complicit and need to be accountable.
As an educational organization, we are recommitting ourselves to equity, to getting better at listening, acknowledging, and educating ourselves to systemic injustices and the implicit biases that affect so many students, educators, and families across our country. Our intention is to collaborate with school communities to create more equitable educational experiences for all students. We hope that you will join us.
– The McREL Board of Directors, CEO, and staff