June 4, 2020 — Silver Spring, MD — We are heartbroken and angered by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the countless other Black Americans – and share in the mourning for loss of their lives. This is a difficult, traumatizing and frightening time for Black Americans and people of color across the country and we can no longer be silent as we stand witness to the consequences of persistent, systemic and institutional racism.
Advance CTE’s mission is to “support visionary state leadership, cultivate best practices and speak with a collective voice to advance high-quality CTE policies, programs and pathways that ensure career success for each learner.” We ardently believe that if each learner is equipped with the right knowledge, skills and credentials, we can level the playing field and support mobility and prosperity for everyone. However, this can only be achieved by tackling those policies and structures head on that continue to enable some learners for success while putting barriers in place for others. We will never ensure true success for each and every learner if we do not open our eyes and hearts to the injustices and inequities baked within our education, workforce and hiring systems and commit whole-heartedly to tear them down piece by piece.
To that end, Advance CTE makes the following commitments:
- To lead and support the CTE field as they identify and dismantle the systems that perpetuate inequities disproportionately affecting Black Americans and communities of color,
- To be intolerant of racism;
- To speak up when we see injustices;
- To lead and not shy away from difficult conversations;
- To work to build trust with historically marginalized communities by listening and ensuring each voice is heard; and
- To hold ourselves accountable for continuing to do the work as individuals and as an organization.
When we humbly launched our equity strategy just two years ago, we knew we were at the beginning of a long and difficult but necessary journey. While we don’t have all, or even most, of the answers, what we do have is our commitment to ending racial injustice. We will continue to lead with grace and urgency, with compassion and empathy, knowing we have more to learn and much, much more work to do.
About Advance CTE
Advance CTE is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Established in 1920, Advance CTE supports visionary state leadership, cultivates best practices and speaks with a collective voice to advance high-quality CTE policies, programs and pathways that ensure career success for each learner.