In a packed room of nearly 2,000 participants at IEL's Community Schools National Forum in Baltimore, IEL's president Johan E. Uvin, asked participants to hold hands and close their eyes and reflect on those who had come before us and gave selflessly to the cause of creating a more perfect union.
In that moment of silence, Uvin emphasized the importance of joining hands to unite and combine our passions and talents and to collaborate and do what is right for youth, adults, and families.
“These are hands that unite us. Can you feel the energy? The hope? We are united. We have to be in these challenging times,” Uvin said. “Let us reach deep and leverage the powers of our passions and collaborations to do what is right for our children, youth, adults, and families so that everyone irrespective of what they look like, sound like, whom they love and how, and irrespective of what status they have will have a real opportunity.”
After reflecting on the opportunities to unite, Uvin and José Muñoz, director of IEL's Coalition for Community Schools, announced IEL’s partnership with EveryoneOn to make the internet accessible and provide low-cost devices to families in community schools. EveryoneOn is a national nonprofit organization focused on connecting everyone everywhere in America to the internet at home.
IEL's Coalition for Community Schools hosted the Forum in partnership with the Family League of Baltimore and partners from MD4CS: Maryland Coalition for Community Schools, the City of Baltimore, and Baltimore City Public Schools.
The Forum reached its largest audience since its inception. Many community schools practitioners, families, youth, nonprofit leaders, policymakers, program leaders left inspired to advance the results of students, families, communities and through the community schools strategy. To learn more about the community schools national forum or the strategy visit www.communityschools.org.