This week, Success Academy celebrated the graduation of 99 seniors, all of them children of color. It is with mixed feelings that we send them out into a world that is so troubled right now. The events of the past two weeks have left us angry, frustrated, and exhausted. The tragic death of George Floyd represents a long line of Black Americans who have lost their lives to racial injustice. This is not the world we want for our children. We want them to be who they are, wherever they are, and whenever — jogging, in their homes, in our parks, on our streets — without fear or danger or risk to their lives.
As educators, we feel this so acutely. Many of our teachers, who are the first responders for children who are disturbed by these events, have been deeply impacted. But we must nonetheless rise to the challenge of being there for our kids — to do everything in our power to educate them at the highest level and let them know their lives matter. We must redouble our efforts to eradicate the educational inequities that rob Black and Brown kids of opportunity, prosperity and influence. In doing so, we stand in solidarity with all those fighting racial injustice in all its forms.
It is our hope that we have equipped the Class of 2020 with the tools and learning to succeed in college and beyond, and to take their rightful place in positions of power and leadership that will enable them to make this world a better place.