We are over six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and since March, the world has drastically changed. Marginalized families of color, including Black, Latinx, immigrant, and refugee families, aremost impacted by this pandemic, and their voices have historically been ignored and silenced in past crises. By focusing on community organizing and a truly holistic approach of support, we are working alongside Family Leaders to center and elevate the voices of those most impacted so they are not forgotten.
As the pandemic has progressed, RISE has committed to listening and learning the needs of the Aurora community - which are great during this time. Our role has shifted to the frontlines of the crisis through our holistic approach of supporting families most impacted by systemic racism which has been exacerbated in recent months. To support marginalized families of color - truly support them as they have requested of us - our focus has expanded past education to include housing insecurities, food insecurities, immigration, mental health and wellness, and much more. This intersectional approach is not only best practice, but a necessary change to ensure that families’ basic needs are being met so that they can have the bandwidth and capacity to focus on their children’s education and academic achievement. It’s hard to focus on education when you are stressed about having a roof over your head and food on the table.
As such, RISE is pleased to officially release our first-ever report, titled, Our Stories. Our Time. This comprehensive 20-page report documents the findings from over 6,000 one-on-one calls and conversations made by RISE Community Organizers since March 1st, 2020 with RISE Family Leaders. During these calls, Organizers conducted Needs Assessments with 212 RISE Family Leaders impacting 1,039 adults and children.This report shares back the stories of Black, Latinx, immigrant, and refugee Family Leaders during the first six months of the pandemic, what their lived experiences have been, and includes recommendations from Family & Student Leaders regarding the education system and school re-entry. To learn about how Family and Student Leaders are rising up and overcoming barriers to pave a path towards educational equity, read Our Stories. Our Time. today. To ensure Family Leaders can access and enjoy the report in their native languages, you can check out the translated version of the report in the top 9 languages of Aurora here.
RISE Colorado is proud to release this report alongside Family and Student Leaders to center and amplify the voices of Aurora's most impacted families. We are grateful and ready to continue to work alongside families and students in holistic ways so they not only survive but thrive through the pandemic and come out of it stronger than ever before. Family and Student Leaders are resilient and ready to rebuild and reimagine the education system to ensure it meets their needs going forward and RISE is incredibly honored to be part of this important work alongside the community!
Thank you for joining us on this journey. The movement for educational equity isn’t slowing down - it’s only gaining momentum.
The RISE Colorado Team and Family & Student Leaders