George Floyd, One Year Later: ASBA’s Commitment to Equity and Being Antiracist
Dear ASBA Members,
Today is the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd while in police custody. It will be remembered as a day that galvanized world-wide attention on racial justice in the United States and reignited a movement that could no longer be ignored. Today is a day of solidarity, acknowledgement and respect for our Black community. We recognize the emotional toll the crime itself, the trial, the verdict and one-year memorial date may take on many of us. ASBA stands committed to leading toward and advocating for more equitable and inclusive educational environments, free of racism, where every student, teacher, staff member, parent and community member is treated with dignity and respect.
This is also a week when many schools will close the books on the 2020-2021 school year. The pandemic, too, has impacted us in a deep and personal way. Our school boards were forced to manage problems unforeseen throughout a catastrophic world health crisis. This crisis also shined the light on inequities that cannot be “un-seen.”
This is not a single moment of observation, but rather a call to action to do the hard work of truly becoming an antiracist organization all day, every day, all year long. We have that responsibility, and we take it seriously. The resolution passed in June 2020 by the ASBA Board of Directors condemning racism and affirming the association’s commitment to equity continues to demonstrate our obligation to the school board’s essential work of building greater opportunity, access and inclusion so that every student can succeed, regardless of their culture, race, ethnicity, family income, home setting, ability, gender or any other influence or characteristic that can contribute to inequities.
Together, we faced a year of challenges and unknowns. While the 2020-2021 school year immediately invokes words like “crisis,” “racism” and “unrest,” it also conjures words that reflect our response – words like “resilience,” “results” and “ready to lead.” As the school year ends, our commitment will not.
As part of our core values and foundational premises, educational equity is an ongoing journey, not a fixed destination. We promise as your association to keep advocating and leading for greater equity across the state and nation.
Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams,
ASBA Executive Director