Statement on the Events of January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

To our KIPP NYC family,

January 6, 2021 is a day that will go down in history for both the joy and the horror it inspired, the two faces of our country in clear relief. As the day approached, we knew we were set to make history in Congress’s certification of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President & Vice President. As morning arrived, we marveled at the organizing power of the Black community, people of color, young people, and progressives in the state of Georgia and across the country. We celebrated the leadership and organizing of Stacey Abrams, who, when voter suppression got in the way of her gubernatorial win, buckled down and invested even more heavily in voter empowerment. We were stirred by the election of Reverend Raphael Warnock who will become the first Black United States Senator from the State of Georgia, who grew up in public housing and was the first in his family to graduate college. Today should be a day of pure celebration of empowerment and hope. A day where the American ideal of a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” is another small step – on a long journey – closer to fruition. A day that showcased, as Cornel West says, the idea that “justice is what love looks like in public.”

Yet today we are seeing what injustice in public looks like in the halls of our Capitol. Fueled by hate, fear, and racism, angry mobs are storming the People’s House and attempting to overturn our democracy because they are losing their privilege. For those who have become accustomed to that privilege, and who have lived under the cover of the great American lie of white supremacy, the thought of a more equitable country feels like oppression. What makes matters worse is that people in power, people who know better, have tried to use this hatred for their own political and economic gain and now have no way to put back the ugliness they have uncorked back in the bottle.

Let us not let the hatred of a misguided mob detract from the power of what happened in Georgia last night or from what will happen on the steps of the Capitol in just a few days when Kamala Harris becomes Vice President. If this country is ever going to heal and take responsibility for our history and account for our past in the hopes of finding a better future, days like today are necessary. We must continue to meet resistance and hatred with organization, humanity, and determination. KIPP NYC is a community of families and educators who believe in the power of each person to realize their immense potential and in the uplift of the human spirit. We will keep working towards that end and understand that what we accomplish together in love will always lead us toward the light of a brighter tomorrow.

With gratitude for all of you,

Jim Manly, Superintendent
Alicia Johnson, President