A focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Over the past months, we as a nation have stood at the crossroads of emotion and action as we witnessed the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other unarmed African-Americans. An outcry for justice followed as people protested from coast to coast in America and throughout the world.

Communities In Schools of North Carolina and its statewide affiliates have offered hope, empowerment and the opportunity for all children to thrive for more than 30 years. The senseless killing of African-Americans breaks our hearts and bolsters our resolve to practice anti-racism in all that we do and in all that Communities In Schools does for each student who has affiliation with our programs. 

A student’s story should not begin with “your options are limited.” It should begin with “you can be and do anything you set your mind to”. But for students of color and students living in poverty, the playing field is not level.  We must reaffirm our commitment to be anti-racists and take meaningful action to invoke equitable practices – thus providing equitable opportunities for ALL. 

The work ahead is tremendous, but if we truly believe in freedom and equality, we can’t be silent nor inactive. We must recognize the limitations that have been placed on people of color, and we must remove the barriers that stand in the way of fairness, equal treatment and equitable opportunities. Our students and our communities need us to stand at this crossroads and do this work. 

To this end, CISNC is working on a DEI Plan that is foundational to our new Strategic Framework. All state office employees have participated in DEI Training, and we have formed a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee (for both the Board & Staff) that works to provide education, resources and support. 

CISNC has expanded its leadership team to include more voices at the table.  We are also taking steps to diversify our Board of Directors and provide them with opportunities to engage directly with CISNC students and families. Moreover, CISNC had launched efforts to lift DEI principles and build DEI belief statements across our affiliate network.

We know that these initial steps are only the beginning to what is sure to be a long journey, and we know that no one step or action will be enough. This work is ongoing, and we must strive each day to be anti-racists and put our beliefs into action. We thank you for joining us in this work and helping us support ALL students.

Image of Rey Saldaña, CIS National President & CEO

CLICK HERE to read CIS National President & CEO, Rey Saldaña’s statement in support of anti-racism trainings in our nation’s schools, businesses, communities and public institutions.