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Communities In Schools ® (CIS) Criticizes White House Directive Canceling Anti-Racism Trainings

Sept. 9, 2020

Communities In Schools® (CIS), the national organization that ensures all students have what they need to stay in school and on a path to graduation today criticized a memo issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget. The memorandum directs all federal agencies to cancel all trainings related to “white privilege” or “critical race theory.”

Rey Saldaña, president and CEO of the Communities In Schools National Office issued the following statement:

“The majority of students served by Communities In Schools are students of color. We aim to break down social, economic, and cultural barriers to their success and ensure they have access to equal opportunities in school and life. To accomplish that, we have included in our strategies, ingrained in our culture, and reflected in our behaviors, principles and practices of diversity, equity and inclusion.    

For that reason, we feel compelled to speak out forcefully against this directive against anti-racist and related trainings. First, it attempts to discredit the existence of systemic racism that is embedded in major institutions in our country, including public education. It also discounts and denies the painful history and current experiences of the young people we serve. Finally, this directive is fractious at a time when our government needs to be inclusive and non-discriminatory in how its agencies and departments operate.

We are troubled by the message it sends to the public at-large, public servants at every level of government, and especially those who interact and support young people and their families on their educational journeys. Censorship and limiting how we, as a society, learn and grow through critical thought, observation, use of data, and continuous learning about our history limits our potential for growth and progress.  If allowed to take effect and implemented, this directive would eliminate the types of trainings that build knowledge about our collective history, uproot unconscious bias, and dismantle structural and institutional racism.  This action will prevent government agencies and their staff from implementing policies and practices that bring us closer together as a society.  We strongly insist that the Administration rescind this directive immediately and commit to build its competency in leading a multi-cultural nation.  

Communities In Schools is committed to continue speaking out in support of effective anti-racism trainings in our nation’s schools, businesses, communities and public institutions and will work to ensure that our staff, Board, alumni and students have access to them.” 

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