Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University School Partners

Commitment to Social Justice

To: Loyola’s CSI Community School Partners
From: Loyola’s University School Partners Team

The murder of George Floyd sparked a global outcry against the systemic racism and oppression that Black people have faced for 400+ years. The list of unarmed Black people who have been killed and otherwise traumatized by the police in America is long and ongoing. This needs to be understood as a critical issue that affects everyone, not just Black Americans. Remaining silent and inactive in this fight for justice fuels white supremacy. As an organization that works with Black youth and their families, we recognize that we exist because of racial injustices in educational systems that this country has consciously put in place.

We work with six neighborhood public schools in Rogers Park, Uptown, and West Ridge through community school partnerships to support positive outcomes for students and families. We do not approach this work lightly knowing that this is work with complex organizations in complex times. However, the injustices that members of our communities have faced then and now will continue to press us into deeper commitments to serve. We believe that the Community Schools model allows us to be in meaningful partnerships that support and uplift our students, families, and teachers.

But, we do not want to exist to fill the gaps of an inequitable and unjust system; we want to exist to build community.

We want accessibility to resources to be at an equal level between urban, suburban, and rural schools. We want to envision a world where we do not need to exist solely to fill the gaps in this inequitable and racist system. We want a future where all children have the same opportunities no matter the zip code or the color of their skin.

In order to ensure these systems do not stay in place we will:

  • Work from anti-racist and equity perspectives by building power in communities through student voice and leadership, social-justice oriented programming, SEL support, cultural student groups, and family engagement opportunities;
  • Seek partnerships with organizations and movements that seek racial justice, particularly those who recognize that Black Lives Matter is a powerful public statement of intent;
  • Analyze and strengthen our 1) hiring and staffing so that staff represent the communities they serve and 2) development practices so that our program leaders, facilitators, instructors and volunteers approach their work through a lens of anti-racism and equity.

The importance of this moment in time cannot be understated. We will act decisively with courage and resolve to deconstruct the systems of racism and oppression that have long plagued this city and this country as a whole. We look forward to working with our school and community partners in ways that promote racial-justice, equity, healing, and renewal. We want to be held accountable to this work. We know that we will experience failures and setbacks along the way. We invite your insights, thoughts, criticisms, and questions as we live into this difficult and challenging, yet promising time.

In Solidarity,

Mykella Auld
Loyola University Resource Coordinator at Clinton Elementary

Amy Bedford
Loyola University Resource Coordinator Gale Community Academy

Dave Ensminger
Associate Professor, Curriculum & Instruction Teaching & Learning

Mitch Hendrickson
Director, Loyola Schools 2020

Najlah Iqbal
Loyola University Resource Coordinator at McCutcheon Elementary

Jordan Johnson
Loyola University Resource Coordinator at Sullivan High School

Qua Sayles
Loyola University Resource Coordinator at Eugene Field Primary

Jon Schmidt
Clinical Assistant Professor; Senn/Loyola Partnership Coordinator

Iesha Taylor-Ross
Loyola University Resource Coordinator at Kilmer Elementary