A note on Breonna Taylor
On September 23rd, after 194 days of demands for justice, a Jefferson county grand jury indicted a former Louisville police officer for wanton endangerment in connection to the death of Breonna Taylor. No other charges were filed.
Over the last several months, we learned Breonna liked to write down her goals on sticky notes that she posted on the walls of her home. This was going to be HER year. She was an essential worker, fighting to sustain lives as an EMT and emergency room worker. Her dream was to become a nurse. She was an “old soul” and loved singing the Blues with her grandmother. Her mother called her “the glue of the family”.
Today we choose to celebrate Breonna’s life. We choose to show her face, say her name, affirm her humanity and tell her story.
KIPP Chicago emphatically believes that Black Lives Matter, Black Women Matter and Breonna Taylor’s life will always matter. We stand in support of the Family of Breonna Taylor and all those grieving this senseless loss and inequitable indictment. Breonna deserves so much better than this.
Let’s take time to prioritize collective community care by being mindful of the impact this decision will have on many in our community. Check on and listen to one another, especially our children. Take time to create space to continue important conversations about the role we play in making this world a more just place. As we process this together, may we honor Breonna by standing firmly in our light while continuing to courageously pursue freedom and justice.
April Montgomery, Executive Director
Brittany Jones, Director of Communications
I hope that you are safe and well. We have now been back to school for one month and we are witnessing over and over the resilience of our students, families, and teachers. Every day I see families making it happen for their children at home with customized learning spaces that allow students to immerse themselves in online learning. I see teachers going above and beyond to create dynamic, engaging content for students and meeting with other teachers across the region to brainstorm innovative and creative ways to present lessons. I see support staff continue to plan and prepare for every possible learning scenario, adapting and innovating for a quickly changing reality.
The Whole Child initiative was born from a reckoning about what it would truly take to ensure our students had the confidence, skills, and appropriate supportive structures to navigate the many systemic barriers they face throughout their educational and career journey. Our evolution as an organization demanded a more comprehensive approach rooted in amplifying student creativity and expression, collective care, and community mobilization. When we began the process of creating the Whole Child Initiative, we did so with 7 priorities in mind that would continue our progress toward becoming an anti-racist organization.
In this edition of the Whole Child Review, you will read about how we continue to prioritize connecting with families and ensuring those relationships are strong. You’ll see our thoughtful approach to online learning as we took lessons from the spring and implemented a plan that is rigorous, responsive, and still joyful. We are approaching the work from our Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice in new and exciting ways and we’re working to exhibit more artwork from our past shows in schools. See how you can help make this happen! We’re thrilled to announce more progress toward our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) goals and we have a number of exciting announcements around our work to cultivate identity development practices, including the story of our own Pete Gooden, accepting an award for his leadership in Forward. Finally, in this edition, you will see how we continue to address food justice through partnerships and how we are bringing experiences of community and joy to our staff through wellness events.
In gratitude, community, and health
These images are some of the many examples of the at-home learning spaces we’re so inspired to see. Also, thank you families for bringing your students to school supply pick-up days! The top left photo is new students and QUADRUPLETS!