June 1, 2020
Dear Stockton Scholars Students, Community, Family, and Friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this message to each of you, given the events of the past week with our country facing the fallout of hundreds of years of systematic racial injustice and civil unrest; most recently with the horrific circumstances surrounding the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. It goes without saying that the impact is hitting particularly hard against the backdrop of a global pandemic.
As a team made up of people of color, these events have hit home both personally and professionally. We are grieving with our local and global community during this moment in history. At the same time, we are working collectively to ‘be the change we want to see’ in our world and most importantly in our community here in Stockton. In that, we found it critical to share this declaration with you all on the record as we know the incidents and aftermath of the events this week and over the years will continue to have an impact on our students for generations. One thing we are certain of is, we all collectively play a role in how positive or negative that impact is with the action we take today.
The Stockton Scholars team would like to affirm and uplift the following:
– We share in the hurt, pain, and outrage for our siblings of color
– We stand in solidarity for social justice and systematic change in the policing of Black Americans and all Americans of color
– We believe in the fair systemic treatment of all people resulting in equitable opportunities and justice for all
– We uphold the privilege for all Americans to exercise their First Amendment rights and know it is critical for voices of the most vulnerable to be heard now
– We support peaceful, safe protests and other forms of advocacy and will stand with our students on the front line of peaceful resistance
– We remain steadfast in our mission to expand opportunity and build hope by attracting resources into Stockton and investing in our city’s people
We know that these are unprecedented times, and now more than ever we seek to come together with the community to ensure your physical, emotional, academic, and collective wellbeing. If you are in Stockton and need additional support, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
We wish you all health, safety and peace of mind.
Director, Janae Aptaker and the Stockton Scholars Team.
Stockton Scholars is a program of the Reinvent Stockton Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization which aims to build hope and expand opportunity by investing in the people of Stockton.