Originally published: June 8, 2020
July 2020 Update: Supporting Social Justice
ETS has made corporate contributions of $25,000 each to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundationand to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Education Fund. Both organizations are at the forefront of eradicating racism and protecting the civil and human rights of those who are marginalized in our society, and these donations are a part of our ongoing commitment to eliminating racism and prejudice and increasing equity in education and our broader society.
Since its inception in 2013, Black Lives Matter has focused on eradicating white supremacy and on organizing grassroots efforts in communities across the nation to combat acts of violence against Black people. With a mission to “build an America as good as its ideals,” The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Education Fund was established in 1969 to foster public support of policies that promote and protect all people’s civil and human rights. Those include educational equity, voting rights and criminal justice reform.
In addition to giving, ETS took a stand to #StopHateforProfit. Answering the calls for action from the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense, ETS ceased advertising for all of its brands on both Facebook and Instagram through the end of July as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. We believe that by coming together with other participating businesses, we can hold Facebook accountable and demand that they stop generating ad revenue from hateful content, provide more support to people and communities who are the targets of racism and hate and increase safety in private groups on its platforms.
Recent protests against racial injustice, inequality and violence toward Black communities have brought into stark focus the dangerous divisions that persist in our society. While we at ETS share in the feelings of despair and rage, it has also reignited our sense of purpose as an education nonprofit. Through more than seven decades of research, we know that inequities in education create inequities in health, income, opportunity and happiness.
We also know that change begins with knowledge. In the spirit of change, we are sharing some of our own research on what we’ve learned about these issues: from creating paths to success at each level of education to understanding and mitigating the disparities in performance between Black and white students to the effects of educational funding decisions.
But we can do more.
We are taking a hard look at our own company and culture to ensure we provide a safe space where each of our employees can thrive. Outside our walls, we will use our convening power in the education sector to spur discussion and ideas in a relentless pursuit of equity. We will continue to research these topics and produce data, insights and resources that can inform meaningful change. And we will continue to work with organizations across all facets of education to ensure these issues remain a priority until they are eradicated.
ETS was founded on the notion that all individuals must have access to education, not just those of a certain background, means, or race. Our mission and why we exist is to help advance quality and equity in education for all. We continue to believe in what’s possible when everyone can improve their life through learning. The journey to equity is one we must take together, and we are committed to getting there.
Below is a curated collection of some of the most relevant ETS research and forums addressing topics related to racial inequality. We will continue to update this list as we reinforce our commitment to equity for learners worldwide.