“Open Letter” written by founding leader Chris McGilvery and Black Teacher Ambassador Doree Collins
Dear Family, Friends and Community Members,
Over the last year, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with a team of Black, Brown and White Teacher Leaders who support education equity and literacy for all. In the recent months, I have had the opportunity to listen and hear stories from our network of black, brown and white ally teachers. As I continue to take time to think deeply about racism and understand the history that plagues our black communities, I am reminded how important it is that we continue to amplify and build up a diverse and inclusive team of teacher leaders.
The stories I hear from our network of teachers and students continue to help me understand the much needed work we all have to do within ourselves. Will you be a part of this journey to ensure that Black Lives Matter? When we take time to listen and support black communities, change begins to happen. I invite you to stand up to support black teachers, black students, and black families in your community. I invite you to rise up today and do what is right for black communities.
The truth is, we haven’t done enough. We see it. We hear it. We are experiencing it right in front of us.
In an effort to work together, our network of teachers and students will collectively share stories in a discussion panel that will inspire a change of heart in all of us. We want to amplify and give space to those whose voices need to be heard.
Our team of teachers and students will present a panel discussion to have real conversations about what is happening in our schools and how we can work together to be ONE together. Miss Ivory Bennett, a 2019-2020 Teacher Ambassador, and Lauren Lynch-Novakovic are co-hosting, “The Black Teacher and Student Discussion Panel: Open Your Hearts to Black Voices”. This discussion panel’s goal is to share their truths and inspire change for a better today and future. Stay tuned for more information.
As we lift up, encourage, and work with our black teachers and black students, we believe they will be the transformational leaders who will inspire us all to be intentional with ensuring our organizations represent the makeup of our schools and communities. Here are a few ways to activate your allyship:
We must take time to listen to our black communities. Be there for them. Listen and truly take the time to understand them as one.
We must support our black communities. We have to show up for them in ways they are supported. Donate to your black friends and family members who are running businesses and doing the good work. Give your time and expertise to help them with their businesses.
We must give them space and respect to share their authentic stories. They must be heard and embraced. Their stories, ideas, and experiences can help pave a way for us to be intentional in the work that is needed today and in the future.
We must celebrate and support black teachers and black students who are doing the work! There are amazing black teachers and black students who are paving a way for better programs, better projects, and better curriculum that can reach and impact all students.
As we continue to support education equity and literacy for all, I ask that you take time to stand up and rise up for our black communities. Even though this journey might seem challenging or uncomfortable, be okay to go through it and we will be a part of changing our future.
With our love and support,
Chris McGilvery, Doree Collins, and The Leaders Readers Network