We Stand with You: An Open Letter from WIDA

June 2, 2020

Dear WIDA Community,

We at WIDA are heartbroken, outraged and in grief over the consistent and senseless killings of Black people in the United States. The recent deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others highlight over 400 years of injustice towards Black people in this country.

As a part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we are in support of Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s statement: "The events happening this week in the Twin Cities, across the nation, and here in Madison demonstrate the anger that members of our community feel over years of unequal treatment. This anger demands meaningful action, particularly for those of us who are in positions of privilege."

We recognize that we are part of an interconnected childcare and education system that privileges White people and oppresses People of Color and other marginalized groups. We also understand that we have a responsibility to disrupt these systems of oppression. We know that words are not enough. We need to enact WIDA’s social justice value of challenging linguistic discrimination, cultural biases, and racism in education. We are committed to:

  • Using the counsel and leadership of the WIDA Social Justice Change Team to activate organization-wide change
  • Raising staff awareness about social justice through continuous self-reflection, dialogue, learning, and unlearning
  • Building products and services that reflect social justice at their core
  • Becoming a more inclusive workplace and retaining a diverse workforce

As WIDA reflects and takes action, we invite you to join us. Below is a list of resources. We acknowledge that this list is just a start.

To our Black colleagues, partners, educators, children and youth, families and communities: You are important. You are valued. Your lives matter. We stand with you in this fight for Social Justice.

In solidarity,

The WIDA Social Justice Change Team, Tim Boals and WIDA Staff