Tyler Frazier is an Equity Experience and Belonging Fellow, Office of Equity at Chicago Public Schools

“I believe every student is a prodigy. Yet, not every public school is positioned to liberate and operationalize the collective geniuses of our youth by equipping them with the tools and language for them to present authentically. A history of racism, inequitable policy, resource inequity, and systemic disinvestment in predominantly Black and Latinx identifying communities across Urban education produces contemporary inequality which perpetuates the status quo and defames narratives against youth holding denigrated identities. Gaps in achievement and opportunity are driven by differences in how students are situated, and too often, youth can not be what they can not see. We are all products of our environment and the systems that shape our view of time and space. Our youth can not escape their situation if they are not privy to the possibilities beyond their circumstances for individuals who look, walk, talk, and think like them. This is where we shift the narrative. The Surge Community will support strengthening my lens on the best practices to empower those most impacted by poverty and systemic inequity, to ideate and operationalize solutions for racial healing, and plan for youth re-engagement in Chicago and beyond to advance racial justice and belonging.”