There is no peace without justice

May 29, 2020

I am thinking this morning about George Floyd, who was murdered by “law enforcement” officers on Monday, May 25, 2020.  And so many other black men and women, young and old, and others, whose names we know, and so many others whose names are lost through time.

As an attorney, I yearn for justice.

As a father, I grieve for the loved ones lost.

As a Jewish man, I cannot look away from what is systemic prejudice and inhuman conduct.

As an educator, I am more motivated than ever to eliminate educational inequality.

At Saga Education, we help students realize their academic potential and strengthen their confidence as learners.  We bring a new pipeline of caring adults into the lives of kids. We ultimately want to see schools redesigned around what works for kids, which must include personalization of their learning.

But in a wider lens, these are just outputs.  The outcome we want is the eradication of inequity.  We want there to be no gap in opportunity for low income kids.  We want no barriers to their opportunity to rise.  We want their paths cleared of the mountains of vicious and putrid debris that all of our past has put in front of them–racism, sexism, homophobism, ageism, prejudice, anti-this and anti-that.  We want opportunity, and through opportunity, peace.  But there is no peace without justice, and no justice without sanity, and repairing the past wrongs, and building structures to ensure justice and opportunity are never threatened.

 We are so far away from that vision. Every day in America, these days, we seem to fall further from it.

 It’s not our responsibility in our lifetimes to finish the work of perfecting the world, but we cannot look away from it either.  We do our part to heal.

 I remember a folk song, and have been singing it aloud over the past two days.  Written by folk singer Pete Seeger in 1955, there are a lot of versions–this one’s by Joan Baez.  It’s about hopes that fade to crushed dreams, of lives loved and then lost, in an unending circle.  And it asks, “When will we ever learn?”  Answer that for yourselves, and keep our eye on what we do–in our way–now, one student at a time, one interaction at a time, one school at a time….

Alan Safran, Co-founder & President