A Better Chance stands with its Scholars and Alumni

Dear A Better Chance Community,

A Better Chance was founded nearly 60 years ago by 16 independent schools, inspired by the Civil Rights movement and the struggle to secure the full political, social and economic rights for Black Americans. The organization has gone through several changes in that time, but what has remained constant is our commitment to the importance of education as a vital solution in realizing a more just and equitable society.

The Blackat__ social media movement is a painful reminder of how far we still have to go. Reading the stories of racism and microaggressions that our Scholars have experienced and continue to experience at independent and community schools is heartbreaking. We are both alums of independent schools thanks to visionary programs like A Better Chance. While the experience was nothing short of transformational and opened up new worlds of possibility, there is also a painful link that connects the experience we respectively had in the 1960s, the 1990s, and today.

We are assessing our existing Scholar support services, like our Summer Leadership Academy, and ensuring that we are fostering important conversations on race, identity, and class. In addition to strengthening existing programming, it is also an opportunity for us to identify gaps in our existing support services and identify how we can provide even greater support in the future. We can not however, limit our focus to preparation and support alone.

Partnership has and will continue to be fundamental to the work that A Better Chance does; with our Member Schools, with our Community Schools, with our scholars and with our alums. By engaging in dialogues, by listening and by bringing together these important constituencies, we believe that we can play a unique role in helping to create more equitable communities. We are in contact with all of our partners to understand existing and emerging plans to create more inclusive communities backed by transparent, anti-racist policies and practices. As we engage in these conversations, we look forward to new opportunities to work together in order to foster systemic and lasting change.

As this work progresses and next steps are realized, we will be sure to share updates as well as opportunities for your engagement and involvement.

 

Sincerely,

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Francisco Tezén

President & CEO

 

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Theo Killion

Chairman, Board of Directors

A Better Chance Alumnus ‘70