In dogged pursuit of our mission, we at NSNO remain evermore committed to the fight for racial justice.

Our country is enraged right now. Last week, we witnessed the brutal killing of another unarmed black man, George Floyd, by those sworn to protect him and others. In March, Breonna Taylor was shot by police in her own home. In February, Ahmaud Arbery was murdered by two white men as he jogged in his own neighborhood (though they were not arrested until May). Mr. Floyd, Ms. Taylor, and Mr. Arbery died because of racism. And this is not new. This is woven into the very fabric of our nation; racism is part of the foundation of our country, and people of color have died because of that for hundreds of years.

This must stop.

The protests and outrage are what Langston Hughes wrote about in his now-canonical poem, Harlem, in which he asks that final question about what happens to a dream deferred: “or does it explode?” The recent explosion of protests and rage is what we as educators have been working to fix through identifying and dismantling systemic inequities that time and time again disproportionately affect people of color.

We will continue our work with our community. We will continue to support the advancement of teachers of color through our SEED partnership with Xavier University and others and through our E3 fellowship program that boasts a diverse class of future executive-level leaders in New Orleans public schools.

NSNO offers its deepest sympathies to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the many, many other individuals around this country who have fallen prey to this vicious cycle of callous and blatant disregard of life—particularly, black lives.

We will continue our passionate pursuit of an excellent education for all children and use that as a means to change the dynamics of a broken system.

Together, we will continue to fight!

Together, New Orleans, we will stay strong.

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