Reflection with Intention

As the nation confronts the systemic racism that can no longer be ignored following the police killing of George Floyd, there is a unified urgency that something must be done to address racial injustices across our country. We at Per Scholas are continuing to champion the fight to impact real change towards equality of access to economic opportunity that has often been touted in this country but has never fully been actualized in black and brown communities.

We are observing this moment in time as an opportunity to assess our impact, examine how we are addressing the reality of racial inequality and economic equity to bring positive, lifelong change in communities across the country. This month, we have engaged in some challenging yet worthy conversations to help us to better support our students, staff, and alumni and to ensure that this work is ongoing:

  • Reflections on George Floyd: Letter from Per Scholas President and CEO Plinio Ayala addressed to students and alumni regarding his thoughts on the wrongful death of George Floyd, encouraging them “to consider Per Scholas as a safe place to start dialogues about what is happening” (read more);
  • Inclusion by Intention (IxI): a quarterly organization-wide initiative that aims to provide a safe, inclusive space for staff to discuss ongoing issues around race and social justice. A powerful, open panel discussion led by both national and local team leaders to envision ways the organization can best equip staff with the appropriate education, resources, and training needed to support students, alumni, and one another. Literary resources included White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo and Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis;
  • In Recognition of Juneteenth (Letter From Per Scholas President and CEO): Per Scholas President and CEO Plinio Ayala and the Per Scholas Leadership Team announced their solidarity to recognize Juneteenth as an annual Per Scholas holiday. Members of the Per Scholas community were encouraged “to celebrate the contributions of Black Americans, while also reflecting and learning about the continued steps needed to support racial equality in this county” (read more).

We approach this ongoing discussion and reflection by all of us here at Per Scholas with hope and a determination to continue to fight the good fight. Thank you for your support and commitment.

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