The confluence of events convulsing American society—from the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black people, to the deleterious and disproportionate impacts of the COVID pandemic on people of color—are destructive and traumatic forces in the lives of millions of young people, particularly those who are Black. The continuing violence, racism, and deep systemic inequities that harm the lives of Black people in the United States are unjust and fundamentally incompatible with the rights of young people to learn and thrive.
In this moment of national crisis, the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance stands with efforts like the Black Lives Matter movement and all people who are committed to justice and working to end racism, racial violence, and systems of oppression.
Racism and the violence that it breeds create significant, ongoing trauma, and barriers to learning and development for young people. The science of learning and development tells us that to address some of the effects of racism of racial trauma we must ensure that young people are provided with rich learning experiences, positive developmental relationships, safe learning environments, and necessary supports for learning and development.
The SoLD Alliance believes that we cannot simply reform an oppressive system. Achieving educational equity in our country requires standing with communities of color to build awareness of the historical legacy and ongoing effects of institutionalized racism and privilege. Only then will we be able to dismantle systems predicated on the racist and inequitable distribution of power and opportunity so that we can collectively transform our systems to cultivate positive learning and development.
The SoLD Alliance joins with all those who are ready to take action to do what is moral and necessary in the face of injustice. Black lives matter. Black youth matter. Black futures matter.