Statement from KIPP CEO Richard Barth and KIPP Co-Founder Dave Levin on death of George Floyd and national protests
As White Americans, as public servants, as educators and leaders, we are outraged by the anti-Blackness, systemic racism, injustices and physical violence routinely visited upon Black communities in America.
We know that our students and families are disproportionately affected by the same systemic injustices that took George Floyd’s life along with the lives of many more Black men, women and youth whose names have and have not reached the headlines.
At KIPP, given who we are collectively, individually, and the communities we serve—95% of whom are Black or Latinx—this moment in history feels incredibly visceral and personal.
This cannot continue and we must not allow it to continue.
We stand with all those protesting. We too call for justice, for an end to police brutality and for the end of systemic dehumanization of Black lives.
Now more than ever, as an organization, we must commit every day to disrupting the systems that have perpetuated white supremacy in our government, in our criminal justice system, as well as in our own organization and schools.
We are acting today in the following ways.
We will support every one of our regions to partner with local organizations that are fighting to promote racial and economic justice.
We will work harder to do this same work within our own house – to ensure our schools and our organization fully live out our commitment to anti-racism. We will continue to disrupt harmful patterns of white supremacy that KIPP has—wittingly or unwittingly—endorsed, perpetuated or been silent to.
For the past three years, our senior leaders have been participating in a program called Leading for Racial Equity whose goal is to train our leaders and teachers on anti-racist practices, culturally relevant classrooms, and effective school cultures. We are committing to provide our equity team with more resources and staffing to ensure that all our leaders and teachers can participate. And we commit to creating a structure that invites Black and Latinx leaders to hold us accountable on our work and progress.
The KIPP mission statement starts with the words, “Together with families and communities,” and ends with the words, “to build a more just world.” We must not rest until these aspirational words are the lived reality for our kids, our families, and us all.
Richard Barth, KIPP CEO
Dave Levin, KIPP Co-Founder