Dear ACCEL Staff & Community,
The horrific death of George Floyd coupled with other events that recently occurred in this country are heartbreaking. The video of his death is one of the most horrifying things we have seen in our lives. We grieve. We also acknowledge that many of our employees and students have experienced racism firsthand. This tragedy serves as a grim reminder that as a society, we still have a long way to go to stomp out racism. We want to make it clear that we are committed to fighting against racism and discrimination, and want to assure you that it has no place in our company or at our schools, and it will not be tolerated. We must strive to be inclusive in every way, and we will be planning professional development programs on this topic which will be delivered this summer to our entire school and corporate staff.
We also believe we have an obligation beyond what most companies have. We have consciously chosen to manage schools in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country and the world. While many school operators avoid these areas, we seek them out. To our surprise and dismay, we are often asked why. The answer is simple. We want to help the children who need it most. Maria and I set out to do this when we founded the company and we have never wavered. If our company does not provide our most vulnerable students with a quality education, they may not have a chance at economic success. A society that does not give every child this chance is, by definition, unjust. The opportunity to succeed must exist regardless of a child’s skin color or economic situation. Unfortunately, far too many children do not have this opportunity.
As we all mourn the death of Mr. Floyd, let us look inward and outward to make sure we are inclusive in our work environments and in our schools. Let us also do our part to end the senseless racism that exists in our society, empower all our students with the belief that they can succeed in the world, and give our students the knowledge and skills they need. Most of all, let us hope and pray they will experience a society in their lifetime where these tragedies no longer occur, and human beings are judged as Dr. King hoped they would be judged someday: “by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.”