This time in history is like no other. There is no example to compare to a first.
In the aftermath of one of the most successful presidencies in history, that of the first African-American President Barack Obama, our country has moved from hope to uncertainty and despair. We, as African-American people are proud. We are proud of our past, proud of our progress, and proud of the legacy of President Obama. The legacy includes: leading economic recovery after the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, reinvigorating the Office of Civil Rights, creating Education Policy that allows for the needs of the whole child to be addressed, and the historic passing of the Affordable Care Act, which allows for access to health care for more than twenty million individuals.
As we move forward into a new era, we, the board of the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators, look forward to building on President Obama’s legacy. Our mission is to identify and address the critical issues in education and public policy relative to the status and performance of African-American, Latino, and all historically-underserved students in California. As one of the largest organizations providing professional development and support for educators working toward closing the opportunity gap, we see our role as critical during this tumultuous time in our nation’s history. We will be steadfast in our efforts to enhance educational opportunities for all students and reverse the impact of generational challenges facing many of California’s children.
As educators who believe in equity for African-American, Latino, and all historically-underserved students, we stand ready for next steps. We will channel the anger expressed during riots, walk-outs, and social media posts into action. We call on all of our members to ensure that all students feel safe and secure in all classrooms and schools. We call on all parents and community leaders to partner with us as we work toward this end. We call upon all students to support each other, performing acts of kindness, and speaking words of peace and unity to one another. Though we are troubled at this transitional time in our history, the turbulence should serve to strengthen our resolve to build on the momentum established during the Obama presidency and move forward stronger and more united than ever.
Lastly, to all educators who believe in the promise of African-American, Latino and all historically- underserved students, we support you as you fight the many silent battles in their behalf. Join CAAASA (www.caaasa.org) as we truly make our mark in history. We look forward to seeing you at our conference March 7-10, 2016 in San Diego, where you will experience powerful workshops designed to help you as you work toward improving educational outcomes for California’s students. Our students are watching. Our work is more critical now than ever.
Dr. Ramona Bishop, President CAAASA,
California Association of African-American Superintendent & Administrators