June 19, 2020

TGR Foundation celebrates Juneteenth, commits to long-term equity in education

Education has the power to be one of the greatest equalizers in our society. But the heartbreaking events of the past several weeks and the countless tragedies throughout history remind us that systemic racism is deeply rooted in all of our institutions, notwithstanding our education system.

As we close our offices today in observance of Juneteenth, the leadership at TGR Foundation is recommitting itself to not only do better but to do more in support of our Black and Brown students, colleagues and communities.

Having served high-needs students for nearly 25 years, TGR Foundation has always recognized the inequities that disproportionally face communities of color. In January we launched an ongoing and permanent evaluative exercise, reviewing our programs for culturally responsive instructional practice, equitable practices in recruiting and selecting our Earl Woods Scholars and evaluating current curriculum as well as developing and determining future programs to better meet the needs of students of color.

Through our experiences in classrooms and with students and teachers in underserved communities, we are continuing to learn that a student-centered approach to teaching is important for all students to thrive in a society that has much work to do to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded deeply into our lives and lead our practices.

As lifelong educators let’s not forget that we must also be lifelong learners. And while there is much for us to learn, there is even more we must unlearn.

  • We must evaluate our pedagogy and acknowledge when what and how we teach is desperately out of touch with the realities that today’s society and children face.
  • We must shift our focus to ensure that every single student is given the support, knowledge and resources to advocate for themselves, pursue their goals and fight for what they believe in.
  • We must invest time into helping all students find their voices and tell their stories fearlessly.
  • And most of all, we are committed to sharing what we learn and supporting educators locally, across the U.S. and around the world in keeping students at the center of our decision making.

We are committed to working with all of you to reinvent teaching and learning, with a focus on student-centered, inquiry and project-based learning.

TGR Foundation believes that education is still the best investment we can make to ensure a vibrant, healthy future. As educators, let’s promise our students that tomorrow will be better – but more importantly, let’s make a commitment and work together to deliver on that promise. I believe with our collective focus our students will seek and develop solutions to the many problems that these recent crises have highlighted as we fight for equality and equity in their communities, across the nation and around the world.