02 Jun Sharing a message that our CEO sent to our students and 10,000 Degrees team today:
Dear 10,000 Degrees Team.
I’m reaching out to you today to acknowledge the heaviness in all our hearts. What happened to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor and the many Black people, men, women and children before them, is WRONG.
We have seen many expressions during this past week/year of deep sorrow and sadness, palpable grief and anger, but nothing hit my heart harder than watching a man crying out for his mother, while being brutalized and repeating over and over, “I can’t breathe”.
As a white person, I will never know, couldn’t possibly know, the anguish and fear that weighs heavy on the hearts and minds of Black and African American mothers and fathers as they raise their children to be loving and kind human beings, but yet to always be on guard for the violent actions of racists and systemic racism that will continue to threaten their lives on a daily basis. And I know that their suffering is because of white people and white people’s accumulated privilege. Our hearts ache for the deep pain that our parents and communities are feeling, for the grief that will forever live on in their hearts, for the loss of so many gentle souls and for how broken our world is right now.
At the core of our organization is our love for humanity, and human rights and justice for all. Through our mission’s work, we are striving to create a more just and equitable world. We stand strong against all forms of oppression and we denounce racism, white supremacy and the violence and brutality that has long been inflicted on Black and African American lives and their communities. But this is also a moment when white people need to do more. We can listen, learn and be more aware, and that I might add, is a luxury—that we get to learn about racism as opposed to being the victim of racism. But that is not enough. And how COVID is disproportionately affecting our Black and Brown communities also illuminates our white privilege. White people must do more—we must ask ourselves what role do we play, how do we perpetuate structural racism and how can we dismantle it? We must break our silence, speak up and take action.
Black Lives Matter and we will do what we can to stand with our Black brothers and sisters and hold a place for their rage and grief. We will continue to push forward with our anti-racism work, empowering our young people through their education so that they can change the world through their own voices, activism, and power. This is why we need to reach as many students as possible. I also know we need to do more, and we can, and will.
10,000 Degrees is here for you, our students, families and communities, always. Please let us know if we can provide additional support during this time.
With love, and in solidarity, Black Lives Matter,
President & CEO