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An Open Letter to our Community

When the pandemic began, we declared four prioritized goals at TSS for how we would navigate and make decisions. Our first commitment was protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. Health and safety is the foundation upon which all education is built. The lethal threat to health and safety so many now feel from a global pandemic has been all too normal for people of color for centuries. The last several weeks have only further exposed the unmitigated virus of systemic racism across our country. The overt racism against Christian Cooper in NYC and the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd highlight the ubiquitous dangers black and brown people navigate daily.  To our students, colleagues and community members of color, we are here for you and ready to support you. To our white students, colleagues and community members, I ask you to join me in exploring and finding action in the words of Ijeoma Oluo:

The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.

As a white leader of a predominately white organization, I recognize my opportunity to dismantle the norms and systems that allow the privilege of whiteness to thrive.  In the context of Oluo’s quote, the leadership teams of Teton Science Schools are exploring this essential question:

As a white leader, what is the most radical action you can take in this moment to fight racism? 

I ask you to consider and live into the most powerful action you can take in this moment to fight racism, support people who are hurting and build community.  Get some ideas here: Chris Agnew Executive Director

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