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Our CEO Patrick D’Amelio on Atrocities in Charlottesville

Aug 14, 2017 | Blog

Saturday’s unacceptable events in Charlottesville call us to reflect on how well we are standing up with families and communities of color, and what messages our words and actions – as well as silence and inaction – are sending to our nation’s next generation of leaders. As a parent, an advocate for young people, and as a human being, I feel a deep responsibility not only to acknowledge atrocities and tragedies such as this that continue to plague our nation, but also to lead WA Charters in taking a more active role in working towards eliminating racism in our communities and our schools.

This weekend’s unconscionable violence perpetrated by white supremacists demands that we respond. We must confront and tackle racism head on, together.

Today, and every day, we must ask ourselves: How can we challenge systems and policies that perpetuate, rather than combat, racism? How can we work to give all children equitable access to excellent public schools? How can we better support policies that effectively address deep inequities in public education?

In the weeks and months ahead, WA Charters will be taking a more intentional look at how we support our students, schools, families, and communities to ensure our work now and in the long-term is aligned with our core values of community, diversity, excellence, innovation, and partnership.

It is a shame that in 2017, families and educators need to have conversations with our children about how basic human and civil rights are being violated in our country. Nonetheless we know that for people of color, racism and violence are not historic – they are systemic and persist into their lives today.

We want to hear from you. How can we support conversations and activities that you are engaging in with your family and community? Contact us at to share your story, and let us know what we can do to support you.

We continue to stand with students and families, and we promise to keep you informed about what WA Charters, in partnership with families and communities, is doing to support this urgent work.