In Solidarity Against Racism: A Letter to the Gateway Community

May 31, 2020

Dear Gateway Community,

The past several months have been disorienting for all of us. As we have remained at home with our families to protect ourselves and our communities from the threat of COVID-19, our routines, rituals and sense of connection have been challenged. We have all felt the effects of this huge change, and it is also clear that the impact of the pandemic has been felt disproportionately by communities of color and low income communities. 

In the midst of shelter-in-place, the senseless killings of Black Americans in our country, including but not limited to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Steven Taylor, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, Adrian Medearis, by those charged to protect us has compelled many across the country to leave their homes to protest. This is a moment in time in which there’s an alarming rise of anti-Asian xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-Black violence. Like many of you, my heart is heavy with the weight of injustice, and I feel compelled to make a difference however I can. 

Gateway will continue to stand for the celebration and importance of diversity, and we will fight against bigotry, prejudice and oppression.  We will continue to ensure that our schools are places in which people are listened to and respected, and we will model for our students the kindness and compassion that we wish to see in our nation and our community.  

At Gateway, we see a better future in the faces of our students. We see wisdom and strength in the multitude of experiences and backgrounds of our students. We hold firm to the belief that, as Nelson Mandela said, education is the most powerful tool we have to change the world.

On Friday, June 5th, Gateway staff are organizing a virtual gathering to come together as a community in solidarity against systemic racism and intolerance. We are also creating an action board with information about opportunities for all of us in our community to organize and respond. Details will be sent out soon. In the meantime, please stay healthy, stay safe, and know how much you each matter to us at Gateway.


Sharon Olken

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