June 19, 2015 9:23 pm

The Board of the Network For Public Education Expresses Profound Grief in the Wake of Charleston Shootings

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We mourn for the victims and their families, and we mourn for the black community of Charleston, and we mourn for America, what it should be, what it is not. And we pray, as Rev. Pinckney would have, for peace, love, justice, and reconciliation. Peace for the families; reconciliation for the communities, black and white; love for all who stand together against violence; justice for the killer, and hope for our children’s future.


The Charleston shootings are not an isolated incident but part of an American legacy of racism and terror that have attacked communities of color for centuries. When we are ignorant of the history of racial violence in our country, it is easy to view incidents like the Charleston Massacre as isolated events and miss the systemic racism inherent in this attack.


It is important that educators study these structures and events with their students so that they possess the understanding and will to develop a more equitable, peaceful society that values the lives of African Americans and every other person.


We are sick at heart because of the Charleston Massacre, as we were by the mass murders at Sandy Hook in Connecticut, the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and on so many other occasions when innocent lives were taken by perpetrators with deadly weapons.


We long for the day when people of color are no longer targeted by murderous extremists; when violence perpetrated by easy access to guns no longer claims the lives of our citizens. We hope that the Charleston Massacre creates a readiness and determination to work together for peace and justice for all.


If you would like to help the families of the shooting victims, the City of Charleston has set up the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund to help the families pay for funerals for their loved ones, counseling services, and other needs as they continue to heal from the tragedy.


You can give to the fund at its website:http://www.motheremanuelhopefund.com


Or by mailing a donation to:


Mother Emanuel Hope Fund
c/o City of Charleston
P.O. Box 304
Charleston, SC 29402