Georgia Appleseed Statement on Racial Justice

May 28, 2020

The conditions that lead to the unnecessary deaths of Black people like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor--and countless others--are the same conditions that created and nurture the school-to-prison pipeline. Georgia’s public schools are more likely to single out Black students for discipline and are harsher with them when they do. As a result, Black children are approximately two times more likely than students of other races to receive out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. Kicking these children out of school dramatically increases the likelihood that they will enter the juvenile justice system. Black students are not treated like their white counterparts. Our children know this, and it unjustly burdens them with fear and stress.

Unfortunately, the trauma, stress, and fear of racism and racial violence for Black students continues largely unaddressed. Our children and their families deserve better. Schools, police, juvenile courts, and the institutions that support them must acknowledge this trauma and dismantle the systems that perpetuate it. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect and nurture students of color and provide them with the supports they need.

Georgia Appleseed works to advance justice for all Georgia’s children, with a particular focus on children experiencing poverty, children with disabilities, and children who experience the effects of institutional bias and racism. Our current areas of focus are educational rights and safe, healthy housing. We've chosen these areas because they are where we hope to have the most impact with our very specific legal skill sets and perspectives. Our overall aim is to be part of a larger solution that breaks down the systemic, structural, and institutional injustices that are deeply embedded in our racist social structures, including education, housing, healthcare, criminal justice, economic justice, and nonprofit culture, just to name a few. We are not perfect in our pursuit. We will continue to strive. #BlackLivesMatter

Edited July 10, 2020