A message to the community we serve.

3 June, 2020

A message to the community we serve.

       There are no words that can provide sufficient healing, and no apologies to restore the sons and daughters, fathers and mothers lost to this nation’s habitual sin of systemic racism. The unspeakable loss of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and of too many others, has laid bare the pain and rage of generations and centuries of unspeakable injustices that have ripped the fabric of countless Black families. So often these grave racial injustices are perpetrated with such predictable regularity by the government institutions and police forces that should serve to protect our communities.

       We can no longer forgive, support or stand idly by when the reaction of our governments is not to seek positive solutions that recognize the broken system and the systemic damages it causes to lives, but rather to declare its intention to “dominate the battlespace.” For too long we as citizens, neighbors and communities have been complicit through our expectation that things would right themselves on their own. Now we are waking up to a shared pain long felt by generations of Black families. Our hearts break when we consider that there still remains a need to defend the simple proclamation that Black lives matter.

       This is not to say that black lives matter most, but it’s to at last stand up and declare that we will no longer tolerate systems that operate with policies and enforcement to more than suggest that Black lives matter least. Our commitment has long been to expanding educational access and equity to under-represented students of color. Today the CodeVA community recommits itself to being a part of the solution – and of supporting the young leadership in the Black community now rising up to not only resist these established practices that institutionalized and justified homicide as a tool of enforcement – but to demand substantive changes.

       It is clear that these substantive changes must begin with a fundamental reimagining of how our police communities are trained, equipped and armed for dealing with the black communities they serve. If you prepare a group to engage and to seek solutions, and equip them with tools meant to prevent injury, they’ll arrive at conflict with that purpose in mind. When you prepare a force with surplus offensive military equipment, dress them in fatigues and train them in “command and control” strategies appropriate to urban warfare, you get an army prepared for battle. We are the change we seek. And we accomplish that change by recognizing our faults and seeking to change from within. That is called learning.

       At the heart of the national CSforALL movement, to which CodeVA proudly belongs, there is an unyielding belief that education equity and a teaching of sound critical thinking skills is the surest solution to ending the ignorance of racial injustice. We can only break the cycle of unending heartbreak – we can only be the change we seek – when we all together commit to educating every child. When we pledge to instilling a thirst for lifelong learning. When we acknowledge that Black lives matter to our society’s ability to grow and find new solutions. And when we vow to challenging all learners to always strive for improvement in this world we all share. Now we are learning together.

       We hope our communities, our nation and our world will join CodeVA and so many other communities in recommitting to the promise on which this nation was founded: That all of us are created equal. But, we hope they also join in taking the next necessary step on the path to knowledge, in which we recognize that we all must be responsible for protecting the promise of the pursuit of happiness that has been denied – without cause other than senseless racism – to so many generations of Black men, women and children. We ask you today to get involved. Find a way to be the change you seek by joining us or other organizations and groups committed to change.