Yesterday’s events in the nation’s capital remind us just how severely our country is divided. At the same time, families, educators, and students in pre-K through higher education continue to fight our way through the pandemic’s interruption to education—itself a source of discord in many communities. Our leaders are calling for unity. We need a common cause to harness our pain, frustration, and suffering and convert them to hope and optimism.
Rebuilding our education system can be that common project through which we can all learn to work together again—and teach our students to do the same. Let’s recommit to unifying students across ideologies by giving them space to process hard realities together. Let’s recommit to amplifying their voices and teaching them how to build on common ground. And let’s recommit to fostering a community where each student can discover a constructive purpose.
In his final published words, civil rights icon John Lewis reminded us, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.” Let’s work together to transform our education system into one that prioritizes those ideals, so each student departs our schools with goodness in their hearts—healthy, safe, happy, and destined for success.
Ronn Nozoe, CEO