The recent weeks have challenged me and others to think about how we can better support, promote and be advocates for Black communities.
This call to action, and the commitment to change, is one that I have made personally and professionally and will implement in my work as a leader at GED Testing Service.
Last week we shared an official statement that details our stance against racism and injustice and offers insight on how we are holding ourselves accountable to doing the work that is needed for true equality and justice for all.
Here is our full published statement from June 4, 2020:
There are no words to describe or make sense of the tragic killing of George Floyd and countless other acts of violence and discrimination against the black community. Sadly, this is another painful reminder of the inequities and injustices that are experienced and witnessed by the black community everyday.
One message should be heard loud and clear; all people, no matter their background must be afforded equal dignity. Any and all forms of racism, injustice, and violence are intolerable and must be condemned.
As a leader, as a born and raised Minnesotan, as a mother, daughter, sister and friend, I recognize that more needs to be done. As a white privileged American, I will never fully understand what it’s like to be a black man or woman. The hurt, fear, and trauma these experiences have caused for our black friends, colleagues, neighbors, and community is overwhelming and incomprehensible. Over the past week, we’ve all been asking why it’s so difficult for our society to address injustice for what it truly is. I’ve also asked how my actions, as a leader, can be changed to do more. And while I don’t have an immediate answer, we will commit to doing what is necessary to bring change.
Our GED Testing Service mission since the 1940’s has been to provide new opportunities for many adults who have been marginalized, pushed out, or didn’t fit neatly into the K-12 system. It is a primary reason why I work at GED Testing Service, and what drives me every day. We take the mission of providing opportunities and second chances seriously. However, the events of this past week have made it clear that we can and must do more. We need to have a plan, and not one that’s here today and gone tomorrow.
We’ll be developing a plan that will bring about awareness, highlight underrepresented voices and help bring about lasting change. Our plan will incorporate continued and advanced engagement with local organizations, especially within the black community. We will create both an internal and an external team that will focus on how we can help address issues in historically marginalized communities including African American, Latino, and Native American students. We will learn, grow, and act on what we learn. We will continue telling and showing profound and powerful stories of hard work, grit, and strength of our GED students and grads who overcome all odds. We will invite more opportunities to provide guidance, support and financial assistance to our local black communities. We need to do more, and I am personally committed to making this happen.
This is an extremely painful but important time in America. Events of the last week have yet again put the spotlight on longstanding systemic issues and injustices. To bring about healing, we must hold ourselves accountable to making a difference in the ways that each of us can. We have a long way to go, but I am hopeful that we as leaders and community members will do what we can to make a difference and bring about meaningful change.
May we find a way to seek the best in each and every person. May we spend time lifting one another up. I hold tight to a future of hope, equality, justice, and opportunity for all our students and our society.
President, GED Testing Service