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Statement from Deborah Delisle, President and CEO of the Alliance for Excellent Education, on Juneteenth

For Release: June 18, 2021

Contact: Dorie Turner Nolt, 404.861.1127,

“As we celebrate Juneteenth this weekend to commemorate the end of enslavement of Black people, we know we have much more work to do as a country to end ongoing systemic racism and its impacts in our schools and beyond. We commend the move to create a federal holiday for Juneteenth, but we must also do more than reflect on our history. We must create programs and policies that ensure every student, particularly students of color, get what they need to be successful beyond the classroom. We must finally close the homework gap that keeps millions of Black and Latino students cut off from at-home learning because they lack internet access or digital devices. We must ensure that every student can attend a high school with rigorous courses and clear pathways to college and careers. We must seize the opportunity to close long-standing financial disparities and advance equity in state spending decisions for schools that serve largely Black and brown students. What’s more, we must continue to teach students not only about our country’s history — including the role of slavery and ongoing racism — but also ensure that all students see themselves in their school’s curriculum and in the educators teaching them. Reflecting on the past is important, but we must continue the work of dismantling racist systems now and into the future.”


Deborah S. Delisle is the president and CEO of the Alliance for Excellent Education and served as assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education from 2012 to 2015.  

The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those underperforming and those historically underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.