We are living in unprecedented times.
How many times have we said or heard this in recent months?
While the COVID-19 pandemic is indeed unprecedented in its scope and impact, racial injustice in this country is nothing new. The recent unwarranted deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are tragic reminders.
As a network of partners, St. Louis Graduates seeks to end exclusionary policies and practices in our postsecondary education system and work toward a system where Black students are not just admitted but embraced, celebrated as the scholars they are. Where Black students have the financial resources to attend college debt-free. Where Black students have the supports they need to succeed in a course of study and to graduate to a future they design. Where Black students are not subject to implicit racist comments or dangerous explicit racist actions. Where Black students interact with Black faculty and staff who represent their future while supporting their now. Where Black lives matter.
For St. Louis Graduates that means continuing the work underway – disaggregating data to hold ourselves and our partners accountable, convening partners to share what works, training frontline counselors and staff to best support students, and advocating for policies that sustain equity.
This is work we expect all St. Louis Graduates partners to embrace. We believe that working together we will create the system our students need and deserve, one that is truly unprecedented.