Words, Actions, and Leadership Matter

Dear KIPP Tulsa Team and Family,

As I watch the news and reflect on 2020, I am reminded of the importance of words, actions, and leadership. To remain silent would be unacceptable.

Yesterday started with a historic development. Reverend Doctor Raphael Warnock, the first in his family to graduate college, became the first Black United States Senator from the State of Georgia. Reverend Warnock serves as a powerful example to our KIPPsters about what is possible.

By early afternoon, we saw a mob of demonstrators storm the U.S Capitol building and interrupt the vote to ratify the Presidential election. I must emphatically state that the mob violence we witnessed yesterday in our Nation’s Capital was a shameful attack on democracy. This uprising did not happen in a vacuum. Sadly, our current President incited violence made false and inflammatory claims about the Election. 

Fortunately, after order was restored in the U.S. Capitol, Congress went back to work of certifying the electoral votes cast by each of the 50 states in a free and fair election. Early this morning, the U.S. Congress ratified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. This is the democratic process working as laid out in the U.S. Constitution.  

To make meaning of yesterday’s events, I turn to the words of a leader who brought needed change to this country as a Civil Rights activist and U.S. Congressman—the late John Lewis.  

“Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.”

As a team and family, we will remind students about the fragility and the strength of our democracy, and the role they can play as adults to ensure our democracy lives up to its ideals.  We will continue to do our part as educators to build a better tomorrow.

Darius Kirk
Executive Director
KIPP Tulsa Public Charter Schools

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