Systemic racism has hobbled so many communities of color and disproportionately placed additional burdens on their lives. The result is that parents and communities, who have the desire, spirit, and capability to build a better future for their children, must struggle with the challenges of systemic poverty while also raising their children alone.
Public and private interventions over the past half-century have helped to alleviate some of the effects of being poor, but they have done too little to address the root causes. We have learned that more comprehensive approaches are necessary to disrupt and remove the many complex drivers of poverty.
The BRICK Education Network believes that the school as a convening institution in a community can be a powerful institution to holistically support children and families in a two-generation format and break the cycle of generational poverty.
In order to disrupt the poverty cycle of children and families, the school structure can be used to coordinate and bring other critical public systems together (Housing, Health, and Family Supports) to support children and parents/caregivers in a coordinated fashion. Traditional public systems work in silos and the lack of communication and coordination between critical systems does not yield the outcomes we all desire. To end generational poverty these systems have to work together to meet the complex needs, particularly those needs that are compounded by adversity and other stressful and traumatic experiences. It can not be one or the other: a school with strong results, but lacks community support or a school with strong community support, but lacks academic rigor – It can be both.