Statement from Teach Kentucky
Teach Kentucky is both an organization and a community of Louisville educators present in this moment in history. We acknowledge that the intersectionality of many concurrent events has starkly highlighted the inequities in our society, particularly here in Louisville. Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, George Floyd, and countless other Black Americans were once students in classrooms, some of them our own, and should still be here with us today. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and other efforts to promote the equitable treatment of all people.
Teach Kentucky reaffirms its core mission to recruit and support new, dedicated, diverse, and vibrant teachers. These educators are, and will continue to be, engaged in improving the educational outcomes of their students in our community. We acknowledge the work that must still be done both within our own organization and our classrooms to promote a culture of anti-racism and equity.
We must maintain a commitment to lead from within. Our organization and teachers have the responsibility to use their unique set of insights and voices as a force for positive change in our community. We empower our teachers because we believe education is one of the most impactful levers to move us forward toward a better society. These voices for change must continue to ring loudly in our classrooms throughout Louisville and our surrounding counties.
We support our members’ participation in collective action and work for social justice, and we encourage critical dialogue within our organization and within our schools about the effects of persistent structural inequities. We stand with them as they proactively work within larger educational systems to improve the structures that negatively impact the young people in our communities, especially Black youth.
We recognize that action begins with self-reflection and continued education. We are incorporating training into our pre-service programming to better equip our new teachers to provide culturally responsive instruction and address their own biases in the classroom to more effectively meet the needs of their students. We also are creating programming for both new and experienced teachers to better educate them on the history of systemic racism present in economic, justice, health, wealth, and education policy in Louisville and the ramifications of those policies.
We acknowledge that our organization has fallen short in representing and reflecting the lives of the students we serve. We will form a collaborative steering committee of diverse teachers, Board members, and other community stakeholders in Teach Kentucky. This committee will identify long-term strategies to make our organization more responsive to and inclusive of our surrounding community and implement specific actions that will continue to positively impact the students, teachers, and Kentuckians we serve.
Teach Kentucky is committed to being a force for good in the greater Louisville community, and working towards racial justice is an essential element of that commitment. We invite all of our members and the local educational community to join with us, to learn with us, share your thoughts with us, and hold us accountable in these efforts.
Teach Kentucky Teacher Council
Teach Kentucky Board of Directors
Rowan Claypool, Founder and President