Equity Is More Than a Word
By Scholarship America
The American Dream begins with believing it is for everyone. Not just the top ten percent. Or those of a certain ethnicity. Or economic background. Or situation in life. We stand for inclusion and equity – for all students, all the time. And we stand strong that racism of any kind cannot be tolerated.
Our home state of Minnesota is at the epicenter of the worldwide response to discrimination and racial violence — and the protests following the tragic murder of George Floyd have had an outsized impact on us, our families and our neighborhoods. We are proud to stand in solidarity with the Black community and those confronting these inequities.
At Scholarship America, equity is more than a word. Equity is at the heart of our values and at the core of our advocacy priorities. Why? Because at some point in our history, we looked around and saw the realities of inequality. And we couldn’t look the other way. A lack of equity is everywhere, including education—dare we say, especially in education. And that’s something that needs to change.
It is abundantly clear that we must redouble our efforts and recommit to our mission-driven work on behalf of all students based on the values of inclusion and equity. We have an opportunity to listen differently, to educate ourselves more empathetically, and to seek out better more equitable solutions. Students are at the center of everything we do – and that means we have a responsibility to work toward justice and equality for every student. Our actions, both individually and collectively, make a difference — especially now.
We are working hard to create more equity for students who face injustices every day — on top of all the other realities that stand in their way of a college degree. Our immediate actions are to:
- Prioritize work we have already started to identify and break down barriers to finding and applying for scholarships — which can be an intimidating process.
- Scrutinize scholarship designs with the goal of overcoming systemic racial inequalities and put into practice new, equitable and just solutions designed to bring about change and confront discrimination.
- Use data to show our partners the value of renewable scholarships and providing additional supports to students to help them succeed.
- Deepen and develop local and national partnerships to create solutions that bring about systemic change for our students and communities.
We know this is not a quick solve or a one-time fix, so we are making a commitment to doing all we can to ensure that our delivery methods and business practices do not in any way contribute to, foster or maintain racial inequality. We hold ourselves accountable to these commitments so we can measure progress and continue to improve our services and support of students.
We don’t have all the answers, but we have listening ears and we intend on using them.
We invite you to join us to work together to help build a world where students can feel safe and respected, and where their voices are heard.
Values are meant to be put into action.