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Our commitment to the future
 
Dear Uplift scholars, families, and staff-

We, the Board of Uplift Education, write this letter to our Uplift community, because we want to share our unwavering commitment to our Black staff members, scholars, and families who have borne the brunt of the negative impact of inequities and injustices of our society since the inception of our nation.  Black lives matter.  Black lives matter in this moment, but more importantly, Black lives will matter going forward.  

The Uplift mission to create public schools that allow all our scholars to have access to college and careers that lead to economic empowerment and upward mobility addresses breaking the systemic disparities which exist in K-12 education. 

We recognize the racialized practices and systemic injustices that have brought our country and the world to this current moment. Those practices include the killing of Black Americans such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery to name just a recent few.  We also recognize that these tragedies have been in the making for centuries. In response to these horrific events, the Uplift Education board sees it as our moral obligation to publicly align ourselves with what is right.  We acknowledge the current pain and injustices of Black Americans and are responding accordingly.

Over the past few years, our Board has witnessed Uplift’s efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We also recognize that equity is an on-going effort.  We commit to increase our efforts to work towards the full achievement of the Uplift mission for all scholars and staff.
At our June 23rd board meeting, the Uplift board voted unanimously to take the following actions:
  • Direct the Uplift leadership team to create a detailed plan on addressing racial equity within Uplift for our September board retreat 
  • Analyze Uplift performance data through a racial equity lens on a quarterly basis starting at our annual board retreat
  • Add additional budgetary resources to help our Black scholars be successful and ensure consistent resource allocation
  • Re-evaluate our curriculum and implement innovative instructional practices that allow scholars to better understand their racial history and identity, include more current topics such as anti-racism into our K-12 humanities courses, and increase teacher training on culturally responsive teaching practices beginning in the 2020-21 school year
  • Analyze our student attrition data and create an action plan to retain our Black scholars at the same rate as other scholar groups in the network
  • Develop a 3-year plan to increase the diversity of our overall leadership team and teaching staff because we know students thrive in learning environments where they can identify with their teacher
  • Increase our teacher and leader training on restorative discipline practices and create the plan for a therapeutic alternative to expulsions to launch in the 2021-22 school year
  • Support Uplift leadership team’s plans to spend time with our Black Student Associations during the first academic quarter and hear their experiences in our schools and what actions we can take to improve their experience
  • Support the investment in expanding the parent engagement team and parent associations at Uplift to ensure our parents have a voice now and ongoing
  • Engage our philanthropic community in candid conversations to help educate them and reveal areas where their generosity is needed most to achieve racial equity at Uplift
We see our proposed actions as permanently improving who we are as an organization.  We recognize that this is just the start of our plan and with more listening and dialogue throughout the network, we will continue to build on it.  We will move forward with a sense of purpose, humility, conviction, and integrity.  We recognize that the Black scholars we serve are watching us, and they need us to get it right.  We will because we are committed to reaching our fullest potential for all scholars and staff.

In solidarity,
The Uplift Education Board of Directors
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Our mailing address is:
1825 Market Center Blvd., Suite 500, Dallas, TX 75207

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Uplift Education · 1825 Market Center Blvd Ste 500 · Dallas, TX 75207-3349 · USA