Black Lives Matter
Bridges from School to Work (Bridges) stands for equity, inclusion, and opportunity for all. The senseless, shocking, and shameful death of George Floyd and those of other Black men and women before him call upon our nation to acknowledge and denounce all forms of injustice and inequity. Bridges condemns racism and the social, economic, and educational disparities it perpetuates.
This year—2020—marks the 30th anniversary of both Bridges and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The death of George Floyd reminds us of the limits that federal legislation, however well-intentioned and transformative, can have in changing attitudes, actions, and outcomes. More than half of Bridges participants are young Black men. It cannot escape our notice that students who are Black and male are more likely to be diagnosed with a disability that stigmatizes and labels them, putting them at higher risk for suspension, expulsion, and adjudication. Employment rates for persons with disabilities continue to be at least half that of those without. Employment disparities for Black persons with disabilities are even more glaring.
At this painful moment in our nation’s history, Bridges’ mission of transforming lives through jobs that fuel economic empowerment is as important as ever. In our work with youth, educators, and employers, we are committed to the ideals and actions that will foster a more just, inclusive and equitable world.
June 18, 2020