Jumpstart CEO’s Message on the Tragic Loss of Tyre Nichols

Jumpstart CEO's Message on the Tragic Loss of Tyre Nichols

We are heartbroken and anguished by the brutally violent murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers. We are holding his family, loved ones, and community close as they grapple with unimaginable pain and grief and as the country once again reels from a horrific act of violence.

The children and families of Memphis occupy a special place in the Jumpstart network. For many years the community has come together to support early literacy through Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign. Shelby Oaks Elementary was recently awarded “Best Community Celebration” for their participation in 2022. Our love and support go out to the teachers, families, children, administrators, and all members of Memphis-Shelby County Schools at this time of tragedy.

We are deeply disturbed and outraged that these violent acts happen over and over again, especially in Black communities. Systemic racism – evident in education, economic opportunity and more – results in the kind of dehumanization that enables violence. As an organization working to level the playing field for children in underserved communities, we have seen aspects of systemic racism at work in the classroom as early as preschool.

At Jumpstart, we are committed to embedding anti-racist principles into our program and curriculum, our policy and advocacy agenda, and all aspects of our organization. The death of Tyre Nichols is a horrific reminder of just how important this work is – and why we persist. For more information and support for families and educators, we value the work of the National Black Child Development Institute and hope you find this resource useful.

In Service and Solidarity,

Naila Bolus

Chief Executive Officer, Jumpstart for Young Children


Jumpstart for Young Children is a national organization based in Boston advancing equitable early learning outcomes for young children in underserved communities through direct service programming and policy advocacy. Jumpstart’s proven evidence-based curriculum serves thousands of children across 15 states and Washington, D.C., and has trained over 60,000 college students and community volunteers to deliver high-quality early childhood education programming.   Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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