Group representing 400 Leaders of Color across 40 states releases statement for moderators

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2020
Contact: Sharon Han, 213-694-3330, mshan@rabengroup.com

Los Angeles, CA — Today, Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) released the following statement calling on the moderators of the upcoming presidential debates to ask questions that provide the candidates an opportunity to discuss their plans to improve education for Black and Latino children. EdLoC is a national network of over 400 leaders of color across 40 states, working to elevate the voices, leadership, and influence of people of color in education.

“Communities of color have historically faced, and continue to be affected by, gaps in access to quality early care and education, high-quality teaching and learning, and higher education opportunities that afford them the ability to earn middle class wages. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating these longstanding educational inequities in myriad ways.

“If we are going to eliminate these gaps and disrupt cycles of intergenerational poverty, it is essential that communities of color have the opportunity to play a meaningful leadership role in designing the policies that work best for us. Instead of taking our support for granted, or using it as a prop, we must have a seat at the table. Protests around the country underscore the extent to which our communities continue to be unheard. Policymakers have an opportunity to demonstrate they value our input by intentionally seeking it.

“As we approach the presidential election, we urge both candidates to work with communities of color to best determine how to dismantle the structural barriers Black, Latino, and immigrant children encounter in our schools and in society. The upcoming presidential debates provide an important opportunity for the candidates to offer bold solutions that demonstrate a commitment to our communities.

“To that end, we hope the moderators of both the presidential and vice presidential debates engage the candidates on these critical issues, and in particular, ask the following questions:

  • Recognizing that parents and communities of color play an essential role in the educational success of their children, how will the candidates explicitly engage parents and communities in decision-making and incentivize partnerships between communities and their schools to define, monitor, and ensure success?
  • Black and Latino students and families are desperate for an educational system that will put them on the path to exit poverty. How will the candidates break through the polarizing divides that have consumed efforts to improve public education?
  • Children of color disproportionately bear the burden of inequity in this country. What is your vision for the future of public education that provides race-specific, evidence-based solutions to prepare students of color to thrive in college and careers, and lays the pathway to exit poverty?
  • Black, Latino, and immigrant students must be exposed to academically rigorous curricula, enrichment experiences, and critical development of their skills that position them for success and leadership in their communities and beyond. How will the candidates ensure students get the teachers, funding, and support they need so that all of our students can receive rigorous college and career preparation, and enriching, high-quality experiences?
  • We know COVID has exacerbated inequities–families have lost jobs, our students have lost parents, kids may be losing months of learning time. We also know that access to high-quality early education, effective and diverse educators, affordable postsecondary education, and a strong safety net is critical now and over the long-term so that families can exit poverty. How would the candidates ensure Black, Latino, and immigrant families get the support they need now in response to COVID-19, and over the long-term, to ensure economic mobility?

    “We look forward to the debates.”


About EdLoC

Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) is a community of more than 300 leaders of color working to elevate the leadership, voices and influence of people of color in education and to leading more inclusive efforts to improve education. EdLoC aims to advance a third way that breaks through the polarizing divides that have consumed efforts to improve public education and to forge the alliances needed to realize and sustain EdLoC’s vision of providing low-income children of color expansive and substantive opportunities for the highest levels of academic and economic attainment.