Statement of Judy D. White, Ed.D., Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, on Unity, Peace, and Justice

The global reaction to the death of George Floyd has created a crucial turning point for each of us to reflect on our own role in the historical narrative of racial discrimination in our country. If we avoid honest conversations with ourselves and others on this critical topic, we are paving the way for another generation of division, inequality, and hatred.

We must come together in a spirit of humanity for peace, love, unity, and justice. It is imperative that we muster the courage to stand up for equity in our systems. We need to engage in courageous conversations that lead to accountability and change in our schools and communities.

As educators, it is our responsibility to educate our students and communities on the reality that history shapes the present and provides lessons from which to learn. When history is happening in front of us, it is our responsibility to ask ourselves, “What side of history do we want to be on?”

I invite you to join me as we step forward and embrace our individual responsibility. We need to inspire students to exercise their civic voice in a way that brings people together and transforms the world they inherit from us. Community, stakeholders, let us be on the right side of history. Here is a poem that captures the moment:

In the darkness, we will be light.
In the divisiveness, we will unite.
In the strife, we will be peace.
In the silence, we will speak up.
In the hate, we will love.
In the hurt, we will comfort each other.
In the ignorance, we will teach.
In our intervening, we will triumph.

“Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”
Anne Frank