Nothing can bring back George Floyd. Nothing can fill the hole in the hearts of his loved ones. But the murder of George Floyd and the uncertainty and anxiety we have felt over the last days, weeks and months, fearing that justice might not be served despite the stark evidence caught on tape, are reminders that we have a long way to go. This work is ongoing.

Today’s verdict is a step in the right direction but reminds us of why we are here, why we put all of our energies into supporting and developing school and school system leaders who know what equity and social justice look like and are dedicated and committed to living anti-racist leadership and values each and every day.

When we walk into our in-person or remote school communities tomorrow, we cannot ignore today’s decision. Tomorrow’s classes and staff meetings are opportunities to build sociopolitical consciousness, to give space for the adults and students you serve to talk, to feel, to connect and try to make meaning together.

Schools live at the center of our communities and are powerful levers for change. It is in classrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, that young people learn to value and respect — or fear — those who are different from themselves. Our schools are raising our future police officers, jurors, teachers, neighbors, community leaders. 

Schools are raising our future thinkers and decision-makers.

Education leaders determine whether their schools will actively dismantle institutional racism and systemic oppression or perpetuate it. Education leaders decide where and how their personal leadership advances equity or gets in its way.

The Leadership Academy today triples down on its commitment to create systems full of culturally responsive leaders – leaders who recognize the impact of institutionalized racism on their own lives and the lives of the students and families they work with and embrace their role in mitigating, disrupting, and dismantling systemic oppression.