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A challenge to White folks…

The events in NYC and Minnesota over the weekend are additional examples of how our communities of Color are under constant attack in the United States. As White woman who continues to struggle with my own privilege and role in a society that attacks people of Color, I want to use this space to acknowledge how I dealt with the recent tragedies – I buried myself in work as a leader of an organization that attempts to support educators to deal with the oppressive structures in our educational system. I didn’t take time to process my pain nor did I reach out to care for my team – particularly my colleagues of Color. Don’t make the mistake I did. Begin taking action now.

I call on our White community to reach out and acknowledge the pain folks are feeling.

I challenge you to do at least one of the following:

  • Reach out to your Black and Brown colleagues. Ask how they are doing. Give them space to grieve.  LISTEN!
  • Stand in solidarity with folks of Color by using your place of privilege to offer the opportunity for people to be angry and free from judgment. Don’t allow other White folks to judge their grieving process.
  • Create a space in your school, community, or organization for folks to grieve, show anger, cry, admit that they don’t have the answers.
  • Give teammates of Color grace on their work deliverables – they are grieving their history (distant and recent) and making time to have yet another conversation with their children about what it is like to be a Black person in America.
  • Challenge White colleagues who place judgment on how communities are reacting to these tragedies.  Challenge folks that have despairing comments about black organizers and organizations. Don’t stand silent!
  • Make a phone call or write an email to speak out against police brutality and the unjust treatment of Black and Brown folks!
  • True allies support the Black community through action and resources. Support at least one black-owned business – religiously! Start today.
  • Read Just Mercy, The New Jim Crow, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Talk about it.
  • Vote! And make sure everyone in your immediate circle is voting.
  • If you are so moved, pray…for those who are lost and those they leave behind. Pray for folks in power to act in bravery, not cowardice.

 

My challenge to my White colleagues is to use your voice. Boundaries are drawn in your silence. Your silence makes you a part of the problem. Your voice and action makes you part of the solution.

Looking forward to folks adding to this post with additional actions White allies and co-conspirators can take to stand in solidarity with communities of Color. We can’t let our “not knowing what to do” be an excuse for our inability to act.

Yours in this work,

Kristyn

Kristyn Klei Borrero, CT3’s CEO and Co-Founder

CT3 transforms the quality and culture of education for youth, especially those in traditionally disenfranchised communities.

2 Comments
  • Betty
    Posted at 12:31h, 02 June Reply

    What specifically is CT3 doing to support not only black employees, but black leaders, educators, teachers, and students? As a for-profit company, where are you donating to financially support black-owned businesses?

  • CT3 Web Admin
    Posted at 11:31h, 06 June Reply

    We work every day at CT3 towards our mission – transforming education for youth – and recently we’ve heard from our team members that they need us to do a better job of supporting them emotionally and mentally so they can do that emotionally and mentally exhausting work. The murders and attempted murders of the last few weeks are, unfortunately, not new, but they have reminded us – again – of the too-little progress in the anti-racist movement and the hard work ahead. We stand with the Black community and know that Black Lives Matter, because they do, and they always have.

    There are a number of things that we are doing to “get our house in order” so that all of our team members – and particularly our Black and Brown team members – can continue on in the battle of racial equality. Recently, one of our team members facilitated a restorative circle to create a space for our entire team to grieve, listen and process together; we will continue to do these weekly to affirm the importance of space and rebuild trust at times like these. We’re hosting weekly webinars – open to educators around the nation – to create similar space for those looking for community, conversation, and healing. We’ve let all our partners know our unwavering stance AGAINST systemic racism, interpersonal prejudice and white supremacy, and FOR Black and Brown souls to have the right to live a life without the daily fear of having it ended. We’ve asked them to join us in acting to speak up against racist practices and continually seek collaborative opportunities to do so with them.

    This is an extension of the work we already do to financially support our partners and the communities we serve. We frequently use our earnings to support lunches, dinners, and events for partners who are seeking to create opportunities to bring people together when district budgets don’t allow for it. We also seek out Black-owned businesses because we understand our history. We know that as recently as a generation ago, supporting and utilizing Black businesses wasn’t a choice, but a need. Black people couldn’t venture beyond their own neighborhoods – legally – and Black-owned businesses flourished.

    As legal structures have shifted, many communities have been destroyed in the name of progress and urban renewal, so supporting Black-owned businesses is as much choice as act of resistance. We have contracted with Black consultants for media and business development needs and sought out Black-owned businesses for our internal materials. Twice a year, we host whole-company offsites, and we seek out Black-owned businesses as part of each of those experiences. On a recent offsite in Washington, D.C., we visited the National Museum of African-American History and Culture (a part of the Smithsonian family of museums), and chose to have our evening meal post-visit at a Black-owned restaurant.

    Is there more we can do? Absolutely! First, we need to lean in and take care of and support one another as a CT3 team. We will charge forward in our work in historically marginalized communities and further interrogate our practices so we support an anti-racist message with each of our coaching, leadership, and pedagogical supports. We will explore playing an extended role at the national level, ensuring that the conversations currently happening across the globe about Black lives and their value don’t fade away, as has been too often the case. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be doing more to deepen our commitment to Black people everywhere. And, of course, we’ll continue to impact Black and Brown students through our work in schools every day. Join us.

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