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A Message from TES/IRL

Date: 6/4/2020 Author: Morgan Behny


Email Date: 6/1/2020

Dear Team,

Like many of you, I have struggled to wrap my head and heart around the events in our country the last few weeks. COVID-19 has taken its own toll but the recent killing of George Floyd has highlighted a different type of pandemic. The injustice and racism exposed by his death should be universally condemned and eradicated. It has prompted concern, sadness, anxiety, and anger among many people, and brings a renewed sense that Black lives are somehow diminished in our country. 

Many of us have the privilege of not experiencing the higher risk of violence but our colleagues, clients, and students face this as a daily reality. The fear, uncertainty, and trauma associated with the constant threat of racism and higher probability of discrimination through violence has hit many of our community members close to home. The effects on people's sense of safety creates chronic stress and deepens racial divides in our nation, schools, and potentially our workplace. 

It is evident that ethnic, socioeconomic, and class disparities continue to exist in our country and local communities.  Total Education Solutions and the Institute for the Redesign of Learning are committed to providing exceptional services to all of our students and clients from our diverse population regardless of race, religion, culture, ideology or gender.  We decisively recognize that progress can only occur by continuing to increase the diversity of our own team and fostering an equitable atmosphere where individuals of all backgrounds are valued and mutually respected.  We denounce any and all discrimination towards fellow human beings and stand together with our community and the ongoing efforts to reverse and eliminate bias and inequality.  

Driving with my family yesterday, my kids inquired about the protestors, the National Guard, and tanks occupying the street next to ours. I have struggled to eloquently explain to them what is and has been happening in our country. I’ve never hidden the truth from my children but having to talk about hatred based on skin color brought me to tears - angry and sad tears. We talked about George Floyd and how the tragic loss of his life represents so many other lives lost. We talked about the protestors using their voices to demand change. We talked about rioting being very different than protesting. We talked about the beautiful examples of humanity and solidarity like the Flint Sheriffs taking off their riot gear and peacefully marching with the protestors or the group of black men who surrounded an officer who became separated from his team and kept him safe from violent rioters. We talked about how there is so much more to be done and what role we each can play in changing our country. I am dedicated to listening, learning, and leading change whenever and however I can. I am available if anyone would like to speak in more detail about how we can accomplish this together.  

On behalf of the leadership team, we want to create a forum designed to connect, to heal, and to strategize the next steps of advocacy for our community. We recognize many of us are experiencing this in different ways and encourage you to utilize our Employee Assistance Program and the services it offers for you and your family. Morgan Behny Medina will be sending an email with detailed information on how to access these services. Additionally, UCLA and parent groups have curated resources to support learning opportunities and self-care.

Together, we can use our compassion towards others and our commitment to our mission of empowering people to not tolerate any type of injustice.

Be safe. Be kind.

Warmly,

Meaghan


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