As members of the KIPP Texas family working to educate students from low-income communities of color, many of us are personally well acquainted with the pain felt when loved ones are lost to violence. Our hearts and solidarity are with the family of George Floyd and all families who have been affected by inhumane death and police brutality.
Floyd’s murder is one example in a long list of injustices black men face in this country.
For KIPP-Houston Student Wellness & Homeless Education Coordinator Sharon Simpson, Floyd’s death was personal. Floyd and Simpson’s nephew grew up in Houston’s Third Ward together. She shares the burden of fear with millions of black men and women across the country who feel their lives are at risk any time they encounter anyone in law enforcement. Am I going to survive this encounter?
There is systemic racism in this country.
If we truly want to make our schools and society safe for everyone, we need solutions that address systemic injustice and rebuild communities that center on human connection and supportive relationships.
As our seniors begin to transition into adulthood, we can’t help but fear for our young black men as many begin to leave home for the first time for college and careers. They are our sons. Our brothers. Our cousins. Our nephews. Our grandsons. For them, we must do better.
We can no longer live with the status quo. We feel the call to change this society we live in.
Several of our own team members have chosen to channel their grief and anger into a fight for change. We are proud to become activists in response to injustices perpetrated against us, our families, our communities, and particularly black men like George Floyd.
We are holding an opt-in town hall meeting on Thursday, June 4 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. We invite you to join us for a panel discussion with representation from all races. We hope it will be an honest discussion and create opportunities for us to create a more just society.
We invite you to join us in expressing your emotions and demanding transformative solutions. We have a series of events planned to help us unite as a Team & Family and move into meaningful action.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Kwa umoja (In unity)
KIPP for Justice Committee
Allen Smith, Chair (San Antonio)
Sehba Ali (Houston)
Dr. Anthony Smith (DFW)
Caitlin Butler (San Antonio)
Dr. Choquette Hamilton (Austin)
Dan Caesar (Houston)
Justin Scott (Austin)
Larry Guillory (Houston)
Nick Dawkins (DFW)
Sharon Simpson (Houston)