Ty’s Personal Statement

A statement from one of our founders

The video of George Floyd’s murder was one of the worst things I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a lot. It was part of my upbringing. As a black man it was my born responsibility to see, come to understand, and learn to accept the way I may be viewed in America – and, to most importantly, adapt my ways accordingly. It was compounded by the experiences in my immediate circle. Growing up hearing the story of the black uncle whom I’d never know – as a child hit by a car and refused medical attention at the local hospital due to his blackness. By the time he was transported to the nearest hospital miles away his injuries would take the best of him. Or the story of his father, my grandfather, who worked tirelessly as a sharecropper to farm, maintain and eventually purchase acres of land, only to have it swindled away his white, educated neighbors because he never had the opportunity to learn to read.

I grew up bitter about what I’d learned about American history, but like my forefathers, steadily hopeful that things would get better. Instilled in me early on by my father was the preamble that education was paramount to my having access to the opportunities that he didn’t. I’ll never forget the look in his eyes when I received my Masters degree in education shortly before he passed. The only time I ever saw my father cry. I knew in my heart once I graduated from college it was my inherent responsibility to take it further. To educate the youth I’d committed my life to supporting, to encourage their higher learning for higher understandings, and to most of all, support their efforts in seeking their truths; and that’s what I continue to do to this day.

The more we’re educated, the more we know. The more we know, the more we progress. The more we progress, the greater the chance we all have of living in a country where equality in America is more than a word or a spirited catch-phrase.

Ty Thompson
Board of Directors/Co-Founder