The Oakland Literacy Council (OLC) stands in solidarity with those who condemn anti-Black racial violence and seek racial justice in America and is committed to working towards racial equity and justice in our community and our country.
OLC cannot deny that structural racism continues to impact our educational system. Many of our adult students with low literacy skills are victims of educational institutions that have been inadequately funded and under resourced. They entered adulthood without the skills needed to achieve economic success for themselves and their children. This cannot continue. We believe that every individual has a right to literacy.
OLC knows we have not done enough and commits to do more. Specifically, the OLC will:
- Move forward as an organization to achieve equity through actions and policies at OLC – through diversity, equity and inclusion practices and related accountability, community engagement, and relationships with students and tutors.
- Actively recruit students in communities with significant school dropout rates and low income and provide support through human services, mentoring, appropriate curriculum, and career guidance so these students will stay with our program to completion.
- Expand our efforts to recruit tutors that reflect a variety of racial groups and provide training to tutors to support our racial equity principles.
- Use curriculum where students can see themselves reflected in the text and be intentional about selecting literature for book clubs that represents the diversity of human experience and highlights the stories representative of our students.
- Provide opportunities for our broader community to learn about the history of educational inequity, racial injustice, immigration discrimination, and other areas relevant to the students we serve.
- Within 30 days, establish a diversity, equity, and inclusion committee that will hold OLC accountable to these ideals. Representatives will include students, staff, board members, tutors, and donors.
As with literacy, words only have meaning when they result in real action. OLC is committed to the work of change, not just today, or this week, but until racial equity and justice is achieved.
For us, Black Lives Matter is not just an affirmation, but a call to action.
*Adopted by the Oakland Literacy Council Board of Directors 6/15/2020