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Now is the Time for Systemic Change

Dear partners and friends,

The Education Design Lab stands in solidarity with the Black community against the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others whose lives have been stolen by institutional racism and injustice. In this moment of collective mourning, we lift our voice to join with those gathered in peaceful protest to demand an end to white supremacy and anti-blackness, ideologies upon which this country and its institutions were built.

Our institutional systems were not designed to support the liberation and success of Black lives, people of color, nor the poor. And, until they are radically changed, they will continue to fail us. Now is the time for systemic change.

The Lab works to address the equity gaps within the education ecosystem. We come to this work out of a fierce belief in human potential and in the infinite possibilities, ideas, and innovations that exist within every learner. Our approach to solving problems is grounded in human-centered principles, and our most powerful tool is empathy. Empathy allows us to put people first and to center the voices of underserved learners and learners of color, so that together we can design a better system—one that is responsive to their needs and contributes to a more just and equitable society.

At the Lab, we are biased towards action. Inaction is a statement. Solving for education alone is not enough. We know that to enable today’s learners to thrive and to build pathways to equitable futures, we need to work collectively to name and dismantle the ways in which all of our systems are harmful to the learners we serve.

We commit ourselves to deepening our organizational and individual understandings of the experiences of Black learners, learners of color, and all underserved learners. And, we commit to amplify those experiences to educators, decision-makers, employers, and funders as we design bold and innovative approaches to expand opportunities for communities that have long been neglected and marginalized. We challenge ourselves and our partners to do better and do more—to act and speak up in ways that unequivocably affirm that Black lives matter, to create space for meaningful dialogue and understanding, and to show up for each other now and in the future with deep empathy and care.

It is our collective work to not only imagine a hopeful future, but to build it.

In service and solidarity,
Kathleen deLaski
Larry Roth
Marta Urquilla
Don Fraser
Naomi Boyer
Dawn Marvino
Isaac Agbeshie-Noye
Binh Thuy Do
Leslie Daugherty
Miriam Swords Kalk
Sammie Oputa
Elisabeth Fellowes
Matthew Aranda
Kenna Fallan