KIPP Texas celebrates Women’s History Month, March 1–31. We are excited to participate in recognizing the women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. Within the KIPP Texas family, there are numerous examples of strong, talented, and inspirational women and girls. Students from KIPP’s only all-girls school wrote letters to President Biden and Vice President Harris detailing the issues that really matter to them. These girls put pen to paper asking our leaders to address issues such as racism, immigration, and inequalities in the justice system.
These are the voices of tomorrow’s leaders! Please take a moment to be inspired by their words. To see all the amazing women and girls being recognized by KIPP Texas this month, go to the KIPP Texas Facebook, KIPP Texas Instagram, and KIPP Texas Twitter pages.
Seventh Grader, KIPP Voyage Academy for Girls
Dear President Joe Biden,
Hi! We’re here to talk mostly about climate change and how it’s affecting our community. As a little kid, my teacher let us do a project about saving the earth from climate change. To this day, it still affects us and we need to stop and help us stay safe. So, I have some ideas on how we can stop this!
The first thing we can do is not get a car. Studies show that 88% of vehicle emissions come from driving, whereas 1% comes from taking a bus. If only riding a bike for public transportation, that would leave 0% emissions. In order for you to have public transportation on a bike or walking, you’d need to fuel up with chemical energy, so that people won’t get exhausted. Another idea would be since cars, planes, electronic devices, trains, and etc., are all updating each year, the fuel becomes more used.
That’s why we should leave the nuclear power plants longer, split a sum of money from the fossil industry into the renewable industry, we can stop fossil fuel vehicles, we can invent newer and better technology! Without this, it will be impossible to achieve a 0% emission world. But all of these ideas take time, possibly years and decades, and we don’t have this time because all of this is happening right now. Every year we keep adding more carbon to our atmosphere, so we can’t rely on our innovations for so long. We need to find ways to reduce emissions, while we can invent what we will need in the future. So the less fossil fuels we use, the more our innovations will catch up and help us with climate change. None of these can solve rapid climate change but with innovations, together we can make a plan to move away from fossil fuels where it’s possible today! So please help make this happen so that we can save earth together!
Seventh Grader, KIPP Voyage Academy for Girls
Dear Joe Biden,
Hello! Undocumented immigrants have many problems in the USA and I came here to talk about them; not only that, I will give solutions. Undocumented immigrants every day have to worry about racism, poverty, lack of jobs, speaking a difficult language, and more importantly, have to deal with the thought of being separated from their families.
How can we fix this? Abolish ICE. ICE have beaten up and separated families. Instead of having ICE around, you can start an organization that helps undocumented immigrants. Many immigrants come here for a better life. They have no intention to do bad stuff, yet they get treated like trash, instead human beings. Many came here to work, but for not being a ’’US citizen’’ they get offered no jobs and they look everywhere for work and the jobs they get are not friendly. Each day they are farming under the hot sun, selling corn, doing more work than usual just to live a poor life.
With you giving them the right to be a US citizen, many lives would get better. They will finally have a good education, a good house and most importantly, safety. Many people think undocumented immigrants are terrorists, drug dealers, rapists and criminals, however this is
not true; they are humans like everyone else.
I have friends and family that are undocumented immigrants and they are the hardest working people I know. They have to deal with racism; for example ‘’go back to your country’’ or ‘’speak English this is US.’’ There are many undocumented immigrants who have been living here for their whole life, yet they aren’t ‘’US citizens’’; this is wrong! Make an organization to give undocumented immigrants the US citizen name they deserve!
Seventh Grader, KIPP Voyage Academy for Girls
Dear Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,
Hi! I am sending you this letter because I want to suggest a few things that you can do to make the community a better place. A suggestion that I have noticed that needs some work is immigrants getting their green cards faster.
For example, we can lower the amount of money we pay for a lawyer so that immigrants can pay for one and not worry about losing a lot of money while paying for a lawyer to help them with it. This is a very important issue because immigrants don’t bring a lot of money or sometimes they don’t bring money at all to the United States. When they get here, they have to worry about jobs and not losing a lot of money, so we can lower the amount we have to pay for a lawyer; that would cause a less amount of immigrants to have enough money to pay for a lawyer.
Another thing you should do for immigrants to get their green card faster is to make the lawyers work a bit faster. This could really help the immigrants get their green cards faster. It would usually take 7-33 months but with the pandemic it is taking much longer. This is a very big issue because it is really hard for immigrants to get hired to good jobs.
In conclusion, a suggestion to make the community a better place is to work on immigrants getting their green cards faster. You can lower the price for the amount of money immigrants have to pay for a lawyer, and you can make the lawyers work a bit faster because the pandemic is really affecting the immigrants to not get their green cards. If you change, this our community will be a better place for everyone and no one will have to worry about losing a lot of money on a lawyer and it will help the lawyers get paid more and the immigrants to save money as well.
Seventh Grader, KIPP Voyage Academy For Girls
Dear Kamala Harris/Joe Biden,
I am here to talk to you about the struggles that people that are diagnosed with autism and what they have to go through everyday have to go through and I hope that you can stand with me and make our community a better place.
I actually have a brother who has autism and goes through these things. People with autism get bullied and can’t stand up for themselves. I want you to stand with me and make everything right. They should open more schools for kids with autism so they can meet people like them, won’t get bullied by others, and so they can focus on their work without getting distracted. They can also make medication free because some people can’t afford it for their kids/themselves and they will really help them.
I hope you can understand and help our community to become a better place for people.
Ninth Grader, KIPP Connect High School
Dear President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris,
Do you know how many people of color have been wrongfully convicted in The United States? Do you know how many people of color have wrongfully been killed on death row? We must take the necessary actions to fix our broken justice system!
I don’t believe it’s fair that we are in the 21st century and people are still being wrongfully convicted because of their race, don’t you agree? Did you know that in 2018 Black men accounted for 34% of the total male prison population while White men only accounted for 29% of the jail population. I understand the need to imprison people who do wrongs, but it’s crystal clear that there is a wrongful inequality between Black and White men in jails.
Did you know that our unjust justice system is also connected to the police abusing their power? According to the NAACP website cops are 5 times more likely to stop a Black person, without a just cause, than a white person. This shows us that Black men are more likely to be discriminated against when it comes to the law. The NAACP website also states that 1 in 3 Black boys born right now can be expected to be sentenced to prison compared to 1 out of 17 White boys. Like I said before, there is a huge racial inequality in our jails!
Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, did you know that over the past 40 years 35% of the individuals killed on death row have been Black. African Americans only account for 13% of the population, yet our justice system seems to constantly have them murdered and imprisoned. These facts show us that the justice system and those who enforce it are more likely to go after African-Americans over other races. Why is that? There is no answer. This is incorrect and there must be actions taken to prevent this from continuing.
Now you might be wondering how on earth do we stop everyone from being racist and biased? Sadly the answer is that there is no way to do this. It is impossible for you to change everyone’s mind. What you can do is make sure that cops who exert unnecessary force on innocent Black men get the consequences they deserve! This could mean serving a sentence and/or being removed from their duties.
As for the court we need everyone to receive a fair jury! This means having an unbiased group of people. Our judges should also be given a set of rules to follow to keep them from making a choice which could completely change someone’s life, based on personal perspectives. Thank you for taking your time to read this. I hope you can take some of these ideas into consideration to better our justice system and country as a whole.