The Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition (CNC) wishes to express its enthusiastic endorsement of the twelve Commitments put forward by the Building Equity Bridges (BEB) movement in December 2019, calling on Cambridge Public Schools to become an anti-racist district. Over the past two years, BEB — a joint effort of the Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) and the Cambridge Education Association — has engaged over 200 youth, families and teachers to name entrenched barriers to equity. This community-based process resulted in twelve commitments that include making anti-racism and racial equity training mandatory at every level, and elevating direct youth power.
Many of the CNC's member organizations work directly with students of color in Cambridge and understand the harm caused to them on a daily basis by racism in our schools and around our community. Other CNC member organizations work with adults of color in Cambridge who also experience the personal pain and economic consequences of racism in their daily lives. Cambridge is not unique in its struggle to honestly address racism. But we have an opportunity to respond in a uniquely courageous way and break new ground together as a community.
The twelve BEB Commitments are the product of an enormous effort which centered the experiences of youth and adults of color. They provide a bold, valuable framework for dismantling racism and pursuing equity in our school system and wider community. We are lucky to have such a dedicated and diverse group of community members leading and organizing this effort. The CNC is grateful that Cambridge Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kenneth Salim, endorsed these commitments in a December Op-ed and that the Cambridge School Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday, January 21 endorsing them, as well.
CNC members are similarly committed to anti-racism work within our own organizations and recognize how important it is that we mirror and complement the efforts that will be undertaken by the District. We recognize that in order to do this, and ensure our decisions and programs are also guided by an anti-racist lens, we must engage in the same difficult reflective work and build institutional capacity to do so on an ongoing basis. In an effort to advance such work across the nonprofit sector, the CNC will continue leading conversations among nonprofit leaders regarding the implementation of a similar set of Commitments for CNC members.
The CNC wishes to thank the young people, families, educators and providers involved directly in the Building Equity Bridges movement. We encourage all individuals invested in the Cambridge community to courageously combat racism in their personal and professional life, and to find a place in our community wide efforts in pursuit of equity.
The Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition advances equity and justice in the community by strengthening the Cambridge nonprofit sector, building collective voice, and promoting collaboration.
Managing Director, Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition (CNC)
Note: This piece was published as an op-ed by the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Day.
CNC Member Organizations