A Call For Educational Justice

Dear Friends,

As President of Foundation 65 Board, I am reminded of the core value and commitment to social justice that drives our educational system, even as it is deeply rooted in systemic racism.  These values have always been in the DNA of Foundation 65 as we increase literacy resources for students in our school community.  We are devastated with the unrest in our nation and know that justice will prevail.  We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others, who have joined our ancestors in sharing the same demise repeated over days, decades, and generations.  The public lynching of Mr. Floyd has set gasoline on a flame of hate that has been stoked for generations. 
 

As a Black male educator, I’ve dedicated my life to social justice for all students, especially those students who had the same experience as me.  This includes a lack of resources, discrimination, and blatant acts of racism.  I’ve experienced them as a student, teacher, coach, dean, and principal.  I am tired.  I am angry.  Yet, I have hope.  
 

We must act.  We must vote.  We must not hide under the cloak of privilege.  We must not just want to believe that “we are not” racist.  We must seek to be anti-racist.  

Foundation 65 is committed to anti-racist practices and focuses its grantmaking support to that end.  This year we proudly supported the pilot of the Black Girl Magic Book Club, which looks to reflect, elevate and humanize Black girls in District 65.  That program will expand to serve three schools this fall and has spearheaded the development of a Black Boy Joy program to empower and humanize Black boys in District 65.  We are also supporting the pilot of the Represent Black Boys digital literacy program and the Racial Equity Leadership Institute.  And over the last six weeks we have distributed over 1,100 books through our partnership with Young, Black and Lit.

Each of these initiatives serves to reflect, elevate, and build connections within and across race through literacy and arts initiatives, so that we may address the racism that sickens our nation.  Our journey together is long, but we believe that by working together, we can create a more equitable and just educational system for all of our children.    

Your call for action is not only needed, it’s necessary in anti-racist work.  Thank you for your relentless support of Evanston and our children.

#BlackLivesMatter,

Dr. Keith A. Robinson

Foundation 65,  Board President