Educare stands with the Black community

Twenty years ago, the first Educare school opened on the south side of Chicago, serving the predominantly Black families rebuilding their community after the demolition of the Robert Taylor Homes. Today, the Educare Learning Network is 24 schools strong, partnering with diverse communities and early childhood champions nationwide, but our focus remains the same: to give children and families from under-resourced areas the best possible start in life.

Our mission to provide a bright and just future for all children would not be possible without recognizing that each child, family, and community has been uniquely impacted and traumatized by generations of institutional racism and long-tolerated inequities. As a Network committed to making sure that children, particularly our youngest learners, have the opportunity to thrive, we stand in solidarity with those peacefully protesting the historical trauma, institutional racism, and police brutality that is rampant across the country. 

Although the racially charged murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and now George Floyd are currently in the spotlight, for every high-profile death that makes national news, thousands of similar incidents are quickly dismissed or ignored. We also see the generational inequities of racism embedded amid this global pandemic. The majority of “essential workers” are people of color who are dying from COVID-19 at disproportionately higher rates due to the underlying health conditions that often impact poor and minority communities.

The Educare Learning Network commits to strengthening and deepening our work to become an anti-racist network, partnering with communities to ensure equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and experiences. We aim to approach this critical work with humility and reflectiveness.

We do not have the answers, nor do we pretend to. However, we are working to do more than listen and heal. We are working to dismantle and rebuild. We refuse to compromise our mission by tolerating explicit or implied practices and policies that negatively impact the integrity or ability of Black children and their families to thrive and prosper long-term. The inequities we sought to address twenty years ago are still woven into the fabric of this country, but our commitment to the children and families affected by these injustices remains steadfast.

To the Black men, women, and children in this country, who have been carrying the burden of racial injustice and systemic anti-Black sentiment for generations: we see you, we hear you, and your life matters. 

In Solidarity,

Cynthia D. Jackson, M.S., executive director, Educare Learning Network

Ginger Ward, M.A. Ed., chief executive officer Southwest Human Development and chair of Educare Governance Council

Shawn Gerth, M.A. Ed., executive director Educare California at Silicon Valley and co-chair of Educare Governance Council