Last week George Floyd’s body was laid to rest in his hometown of Houston. Mr. Floyd is one of too many Black men and women in our country whose lives has been tragically cut short by racial injustice, police brutality, and violence. These are historical systemic injustices and reflect the dehumanizing of Black lives. These Black men and women are our students, families, staff and community members.
As protesters continue to march for justice all around the world, it is clear that the call for change is louder and more urgent than ever. The recent murders of Black men and women, including Mr. Floyd, Mr. Arbery, Ms. Taylor, Mr. Brooks and many others at the hands of the police have exposed how far we still have to go on the road to true social justice.
These are issues of fundamental humanity. These are not political issues. We can influence change . . . and we must.
At KIPP Texas, we have chosen to take a firm stand in a fight for a more just, anti-racist world. We are starting here, in our own KTX schools and offices, by committing to do the work and take the actions to be an anti-racist organization. Through the collaborative efforts of the KIPP Texas Social Justice Committee, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Team, and input from throughout our organization, we have created a Social Justice Equity Action Plan. This plan represents the many voices of KIPP Texas and includes the following five actions:
- Implementing mandatory on-going diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training for all Big KIPPsters.
- Requiring equitable hiring practices, policies, and procedures in all roles.
- Examining discipline practices in schools and disrupting inequitable practices.
- Auditing our curriculum to ensure the curriculum and our instructional practices are aligned with our DEI initiatives.
- Leveraging the findings of the KIPP Texas Equity Audits we have already completed in order to advance equity and anti-racism within KIPP Texas.
We are committed to doing the work to make KIPP Texas anti-racist. We will work to ensure that diverse voices are heard, all Little and Big KIPPsters feel respected and valued across KIPP Texas, and we create environments in which our Little and Big KIPPsters can do our best work, thrive, and bring their full selves.
Black lives matter. We will continue to stand up and lead the fight for justice.
Bill Boyar, Board Chair, KIPP Texas Public Schools
Sehba Ali, CEO, KIPP Texas Public Schools