Dear Internationals Network Community,
In the wake of the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, Internationals Network affirms its support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the struggle against systemic racism. We send special love and support to the Wellstone International High School school community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We stand with you and your students in this time of anguish. As one of the Wellstone students said to us this week, “…we know that we are intelligent.. we know that we are important… that we matter and that we all can make a change….” We see you and we hear you.
We are deeply disturbed by the violence and injustice suffered by black and brown Americans, not only in this painful moment but over the entire history of our nation. When we decided to revise our original tagline that read, “Opening Doors to the American Dream”, it was in large part a recognition that the mythical American Dream was too often not extended to the immigrant students of color who we serve in our schools. That ideal of equality will never be achieved until the historical legacy of racism and oppression that has deprived so many African Americans of their lives and livelihoods is recognized and rectified.
We all have a duty to the youth we serve to speak out and combat the racism and violence destroying Black lives – and oppressive school structures and practices that perpetuate inequity. Our revised tagline is now “Transforming education for multilingual learners.” We will continue to work towards transforming our education system to remove the structural barriers our students and all young people of color face. We are committed to increasing our efforts to support schools in strengthening anti-racist, culturally sustaining-responsive education. We are also committed to continuing our organizational journey to become a more reflective and actively anti-racist organization as we move forward. We will be listening to our students and continuing to learn from them.
Joe Luft, Executive Director