A Special Message from the Shanker Institute

We go into Memorial Day—a day reserved for honoring those who died for our democracy while serving our country in the U.S. military—after a month of heart-breaking news and experiences. The brutal war in Ukraine continues. A deplorable, racist act in Buffalo stole 10 beloved members of the community. Another school shooting took the lives of 19 children and two adults and once again rocked the safety of school communities across the country. Brittany Griner remains in detention in Russia. The two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd was commemorated by a somber gathering in George Floyd Square.

It is truly and painfully obvious that being in community with one another remains a fundamental necessity to our common good. There are many good laws that we must seek to pass. There are harmful laws we must stop. There are racist structures that must be dismantled and inclusivity that must be amplified.

The bedrock of progress continues to be building relationships with each other. We have the power to do that as individuals, institutions, and as a society. Our school communities can prioritize building relationships among students, families, school staff, and the larger community. Workers can build relationships both where we work and with those for whom we work. The strength of our democracy relies on relationships and trust in our communities and those elected to represent our communities. This is why, amidst one brutal event after another, the Albert Shanker Institute remains deeply committed to our work to strengthen public schools, worker’s voices, and our democracy. We commit to do so in deep relationship with you and to center the voices and experiences of those most impacted by the attempts to weaken our school communities, workers, and our democracy.

We need to be in community with you to do our best work. Please take care of yourself and take care of each other as you work and rest. We are committed to supporting your good work and we are deeply grateful for your support of ours.


Mary Cathryn, Burnie, Matt, Esther, Vicki, and Kayla