We write to you in the darkest days of our lives. We are deeply saddened by the murder of George Floyd. Our hearts and prayers are with his family and our Black community across the country, the city, and here in Manhattan. This is the tipping point of a long history of unjustified hatred and violence against people of color. Today, we need to come together and acknowledge that our Black and Brown community is hurting and tired of generational and institutional racism.
We are committed to always supporting and caring for you and your communities. How we show up for you is grounded in our collective values: Compassion, Collaboration, Innovation, Whole Child, and Equity.
For the past few years, we have led crucial work of anti-racism and have engaged in courageous conversations about race and implicit bias. Today, is the day in which we practice courage and the tools we have learned together. Our first step, after acknowledging the pain and frustration of our brothers and sisters, is to engage in dialogue and to listen to their lived experiences, pain, and frustration. Please also hear and see their resilience, beauty and excellence.
As educators, as people who love ALL children, we can no longer be silent and complicit. Know that we will make mistakes along the way; however, that cannot paralyze us. We can no longer be afraid of saying the wrong thing. We have to stand up against racist comments and we must lift up our black and brown community. As long as we show up with our values, with a loving, supportive, and listening stance, then and only then, we will become allies.
Democracy, freedom, inequity, poverty, pandemic, starvation, authoritarianism, climate change, and racism are our collective reality for the foreseeable future. Our number one job is to educate our students about things that will impact our collective lives for years to come. In our work with children, we will continue to center our most vulnerable students, ensuring that they receive an outstanding education that guarantees them a full measure of access and opportunity to the best of what our city and nation have to offer.
We stand ready to listen, to speak against injustice, to join you in civic action, and to support you in all forms of healing and restorative work. Even during this period of remote learning, we must remain closely connected. No member of our beloved community, especially our students, must process these intense feelings alone. There is tremendous strength in unity and we stand ready to hold a healing space for you.
We have always trusted your leadership and today we ask that you trust and join us in action.
In unity and partnership,
Carry Chan, Superintendent D1,
Donalda Chumney, Superintendent D2,
Christine Loughlin, Superintendent D3,
Alex Estrella, Superintendent D4,
Danika Rux, Superintendent D5,
Manny Ramirez, Superintendent D6,
Vivian Orlen, Superintendent Manhattan High Schools,
Steven Aragona, Executive Director
Marisol Rosales, Executive Superintendent
We are nine. We are one. We stand with you. We stand with our Black and Brown community.