Press Release

CEO Karen Niemi Releases Statement on Systemic Racism

June 30, 2020

Consequences of systemic racism are yet again on display. We will stand united as nation only when every person is and feels seen, heard and valued. The systems we build are the result of our collective will as individuals. We must rebuild them to reflect the world we want to see. Now is our time to take action. Karen Niemi, CASEL President & CEO

At this moment of inexpressible pain, CASEL stands with those advocating for the change this country has waited too long to see.

Our country, our cities, our schools and our students—especially those of color—need support right now. It will take a new kind of energy and fortitude to break down what exists and construct a new tomorrow for our children. I am writing to ask each of you to keep engaging and taking action. Now is our moment to create real change.

Our education system must be part of the renewed effort to bridge gaps in respect and human relationships so all young people are seen, valued, and heard.

There isn’t only one solution. We don’t claim to have a quick fix to long-standing racism. What we do know is that with social and emotional learning, our educational institutions can play a significant role in cultivating the knowledge, mindsets, and skills to create a thriving, more equitable society.

Educators and policy makers, what can you do? Make the time to reflect on your own identities, biases, and competencies. Implement ways for your students to productively challenge inequities they see. Engage your families and communities to better understand their lived experiences. Involve various stakeholders in co-developing policies, in data reflection, and in problem-solving to help illuminate and dismantle inequities.

It is not enough to acknowledge the inequities that exist. Now is the time to direct our collective outrage to create real change.

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