We Remain Committed to Anti-Racism

Original Letter sent 6/5/2020, its content, sentiments, and resources are copied below. 

SSN Community Members,

Like you, we’ve been completely devastated by the tragic murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, David McAtee. 

To the families and loved ones who have been ripped apart as a result of this violence, and the countless who came before them, we express our deepest condolences. 

As we process and mourn these horrific events, we’re reminded of the ugly truth that underlies all of our work: these killings are only the latest atrocities in a society constructed from anti-black racism. From education to housing, healthcare, criminal justice, policing, and beyond, structural racism pervades our systems and is at the root of the opportunity gap the Student Success Network aims to close. 

The Student Success Network unequivocally stands with the struggle for racial justice and social equity.

As a network whose members serve youth that identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, we stand with our Black community members, our Black Network members, because Black lives matter, Black educators matter, and Black students matter.

We are inspired by members who are fighting to remove systemic barriers and serve on the front lines against injustice, and we remain optimistic.

As a community that focuses on social-emotional learning to help youth thrive, we acknowledge the impacts of racism in youth-facing systems, policies, and interactions. Without racial equity, even the most well-intended supports can be a form of oppression. We are working to address inequitable systems and structures that oppress, instead of centering the “fix” on young people and those most impacted. 

Amid the challenges of navigating the pandemic, we remain committed to deepening our role in the anti-racism movement. In our partnership with a diverse group of youth-serving organizations across NYC, SSN is uniquely positioned to amplify the voices, experiences, and expertise of BIPOC – especially youth – and create space for their leadership.

SSN will leverage the collective power of our Network to identify and address barriers to racial equity in NYC and, in this way, contribute to the larger movement that many before us have fueled.

Join us in learning more about the anti-racism movement with some of these resources: 

In Solidarity,

The SSN Backbone Team

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Gina Darnaud
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