College Visions works to combat a racist educational system, but CV students face many structural oppressions that we cannot fix. We exist to support students who want to earn college degrees and face a multitude of challenges due to the structural systems that tell them they are unworthy and not enough. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, 3 Black individuals whose deaths were at the hands of those who were supposed to protect them. It is no question that racism and police brutality affect our Black community at disproportionately high rates. It is no question that still to this day, there is work that needs to be done to demand justice for Black Lives. College Visions stands with our Black students, families, and community in demand of that justice. We see you, we hear you and we will fight with you.
College Visions exists because of the inequitable access to education for Black students and students of color, particularly those who grew up in poor and working-class families. In a world with justice for Black people, our organization would likely not exist. In that world, Black students and students of color would always have enough. They would have access to healthy food, quality healthcare, stable housing, and clean air. They would see their families treated with respect. They would attend fully funded schools where their talents were seen and they were cherished as children and youth with boundless potential. They would be encouraged to dream big and given the tools and knowledge to turn those dreams into reality.
The young people we serve are overpoliced in their neighborhoods and schools. Meanwhile, many attend school in unhealthy and decrepit buildings and do not get the academic support and enrichment they deserve. Overpolicing produces fear, stress, and anxiety, yet our students and their families face a dearth of mental health services. There is a large gap between the percentage of Black students and students of color who say they plan to go to college and the percentage who enroll and then persist to earn degrees. Students who choose college as their path deserve the academic, financial, and social/emotional resources and support they need to succeed.
Our mission at College Visions is to empower low-income and first-generation college-bound students to realize the promise of higher education by providing advising and resources to promote college enrollment, persistence, and graduation. College Visions advances equal access to educational opportunities in historically under-served communities. We commit to continue the work in combating racist educational systems. We commit to continue the work in investing in our Black youth and youth of color. We commit to continue the work in fighting for a more equitable and just society.
We encourage our College Visions family to become part of the solution by:
- Supporting College Visions and other local and national organizations that combat systemic racism, anti-racism, police brutality, anti-blackness such as:
- Providence Student Union
- Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
- Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE)
- Youth In Action
- Alliance to Mobilize for Our Resistance (AMOR)
- RI for Community Justice
- Exercising your right to vote. Voting for your local government officials and our national government leaders is an important tool for taking action to put power with those who we believe can represent our communities best. We encourage everyone to stay engaged in your local politics and vote during election years, 2020 being one of them! Here is some information to continue being informed voters:
- Information on the Presidential Election – https://www.theskimm.com/2020
- Local Election Timelines and Candidates – https://www.fec.gov/data/elections/?cycle=2020&zip=02909