Press Releases

Rev. Sharpton declares War on the Racial Education Achievement Gap

Jul 23, 2009

Rev. Sharpton declares War on the Racial Education Achievement Gap in the wake of new federal test results showing it is not closing. he asks america to join him in Washington DC on may 16 to kick off a national campaign to close the gap and change education forever.

May 13, 2009 – Citing the stark new federal education test results that show the racial achievement gap remains large, Reverend Al Sharpton called on Americans of all “races, backgrounds, ages and philosophies” to join him on the 55th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education in Washington, DC “to end what those bold Americans began 55 years ago, namely the “back of the bus” education received by blacks and Latinos in American education that affects the entire education system and the future of this country.” Rev. Sharpton said, “55 years ago, the King era civil rights movement began when Americans of all colors demanded that every child have equality of opportunity in education.

On May 16th, we will renew the urgency felt 55 years ago to save the future of our children and of our nation. We all must recognize that we have a crisis in education, and crises demand extraordinary action. Starting with May 16, we will create new alliances with old foes, shock the nation out of its slumber on education where it dreams that everything is all right, and use new as well as time tested civil rights actions to awaken the nation to action, and press for accountability and high quality teachers in every classroom. In this new movement there are no sacred cows, and if you stand in the way of this new call to action you could get run over.”

Reverend Sharpton and National Action Network, along with La Raza and Education Equality Project, which Reverend Sharpton helped found will lead an event on the White House Ellipse on the National Mall formally kicking off the campaign to close the racial achievement gap. A diverse group of speakers will be on hand, including civil rights leaders, mayors and elected officials, clergy and even former Speaker of The House Newt Gingrich. People from over 20 states and thirty five cities have signed up to come to Washington on that day.