George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were once middle schoolers.
As the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education, and as white individuals, we are complicit in benefiting from a system designed to tear down and exploit Black lives — physically, economically, and spiritually.
As an organization, and partner in systems change, we bear an obligation to examine and own our impact in perpetuating education’s instruments of white supremacy and oppression.
We must put anti-racism and anti-oppression at the center of our efforts to transform young adolescent education. Racism and systemic white supremacy directly threaten the lives and potential of young Black Vermonters.
We must ensure our work with middle schools prioritizes the safety of Black students, Indigenous students, and Students of Color, while providing white students with educations that will help them recognize and dismantle anti-Black racism and other oppressive systems.
George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were once middle schoolers. So were the people who killed them.
We commit to centering racial justice in our work with Vermont middle schools by:
- Interrogating our complicity with white supremacy and helping Vermont educators do so in all aspects of schooling.
- Centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth, families, and educators in our work, including learning with and from them what they need and want from our work.
- Partnering with campus and community organizations to audit our past and future impacts, and further develop our capacity to do anti-racist work.
- Learning from the work of BIPOC scholars, activists and educators in employing culturally responsive practices for/with partner schools.
We remain committed to the limitless potential of young adolescents.
Ahmaud Aubrey was once a middle schooler. So were the father and son who killed him.
We must be humble and acknowledge we will not get it right. We will not do enough.
But we also cannot stop. Without intensive critique, we will invariably continue to reproduce the oppressive regime we aspire to tear down. Together with Vermont middle schools, with educators, with students and with communities, we must dismantle systems of white supremacy and oppression.