Statement On Racial Justice

These past several months have challenged us all —as individuals, as groups, and as a country. To be sure, the coronavirus pandemic has turned our world upside down and taken the lives of so many. But we’re facing another disease that takes a selective toll that can no longer be ignored: the senseless and repeated murders of unarmed Black people by police and the well-documented brute force used by law enforcement, as we’ve witnessed with the recent protests.

These actions and behaviors are rooted in racism and have been in plain sight for decades. Too many of us, including we at RunningBrooke, haven’t paid close enough attention to them. That’s because we didn’t recognize the role we played in allowing these issues to persist. We haven’t been as knowledgeable about or sensitive to racial justice issues as we should be. We are sorry. We can, and we will, do better.

Our mission at RunningBrooke is simple: to get kids physically active to spark happier, healthier, learning-ready students, whether at home or in the classroom. While all children can benefit from the work we do, the need is greater for some children. And we’re committed to addressing that discrepancy.

Our first steps:

  • To better serve children, families, teachers, and leaders in our school system, many of whom are people of color, my staff, our board members, and I will receive ongoing training on how systemic racism functions in America, especially in education, and how to combat it.
  • We’ll diversify formal and informal leadership at RunningBrooke. To do this, we’ll actively seek out and embrace fresh and new perspectives from Black, indigenous, and people of color as committee or board members.
  • We’ll work closely with our schools and families to create more opportunities to connect in person. We want to know the families we serve and build meaningful relationships with them.
  • We’ll seek honest and direct feedback from our schools and families to tailor our programs to best address their needs and concerns.

Although these are difficult and uncertain times, we at RunningBrooke are using this opportunity to recalibrate and grow. We’ll work to truly hear each other, even when discussing hard, uncomfortable issues. We’ll take responsibility for being uninformed or underinformed and do what’s necessary to change that. We’ll seek guidance from those who have experienced racism — and continue to experience racism — in their lives. We’ll stand in solidarity with Black, indigenous, and people of color.

We are committed to doing this work.