Dear Community Member,
Education in America faces severe challenges. The imperative that all students access equal education isn’t merely a viewpoint; it’s enshrined in multiple civil rights laws, particularly those that prohibit discrimination in federally-funded educational programs. These legislations, spanning decades, underscore the principles of equality:
However, disparities persist, as students of color, those identifying as LGBTQ+, those facing economic disparity, and students with disabilities encounter systemic hurdles in pursuit of equitable education. These barriers are evident in multiple aspects of their lives. Our education system, originally designed for white, heteronormative, and non-disabled students, highlights historical inequities. Even with incremental changes, the struggle for these students to access what they deserve persists.
Today, social inequities are exacerbated, further impeding students’ educational success, with a correlation to employment success. Economic pressures, COVID-19’s aftermath, and the housing crisis have pushed numerous high school students from low-income families into full-time employment to help their families. The urgency for equitable education is intensifying.
OPEN INC. (Step Up and Open School East) stands at the forefront of this battle. With over 70% of our students identifying as BIPOC and 70% qualifying for free meals, we serve those most affected by educational disparities.
Astonishingly, our graduation rates surpass national and state averages. How? We’ve actualized equitable education in tangible ways. Our curriculum acknowledges trauma, our educators and advocates mirror student identities, and our students trust us as safe havens. They receive resources and support historically denied to them when we address the very barriers that limit education’s reach.
Join us in championing equitable education. Invest in students who have been underserved and underestimated by contributing to our Give!Guide campaign.
A donation of $10 or $1,000 champions education rights, with a resounding generational and community impact.
The movement toward equitable education demands unity. Together, we make a difference.
Thank you for your support,
Kimberlee Pierce Sheng,
OPEN Inc. President