JTG on the Frontlines for Equality
The horrific deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are the most recent examples of racism and systemic inequality in this country, and underscore why our Communities of Color often live in fear, given the discrimination and oppression they face daily.
Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) was founded to address those inequalities and fears too many of America’s youth have, which can hinder opportunities and plans for their futures. Over half of our students identify as Students of Color and face systemicbarriers to success. Our experience tells us that JTG students of color who face inequalities in education, jobs, and their well-being receive crucial support and mentorship to help them find their voice and navigate these systems. As part of overcoming inequality, JTG ensures that our youth have a genuine voice in their lives, communities, and the nation in the future.
The JTG team recognizes the resilience in our students and works to equip them with compassion and empathy while empowering them to continue to be part of the solution moving forward. They are active citizens who secure employment and success in higher education, and we will continue to lift up their voices so they are central to solutions in the fight against inequality. Their race, zip codes, and other personal indicators will not be barriers if they are enrolled in our program.
But, we must do more. JTG and JAG National Network is responding with a range of support for our students, Specialists, and frontline staff. We will promote and open discussion and expression around race discrimination for our entire network. We will provide opportunities to educate and engage key audiences around race relations, promote healing and reconciliation, and discuss the importance of equity to help our 75,000 JAG students and 1,400 Specialists learn from ongoing historical and recent oppression and events.
We seek partnerships with companies and industries that promote inclusion and diversity and build cultures, and “walk the walk” around these values. These partners welcome and benefit our students and help us build stronger schools, businesses, communities, and country.
Investments will help us develop the tools and leadership opportunities JTG and JAG staff and students need to continue our ongoing growth as a culturally competent organization and National Network through:
- Intercultural Development Inventory Assessments for JAG National Staff, JAG National Training Academy, and JAG Council of State Affiliate leaders, with coaching and ongoing support around JAG leadership intercultural competency development plans
- Launch of specific Trauma-Informed Care Webinar series for JAG Specialists who may have experienced racism so they have a space for personal healing and can better support JAG students who experience trauma caused by racism and bigotry
- Creation of JAG Affinity Group and related professional development training
- Town Halls and Webinars to promote dialogue and open, honest discussion in and outside of JAG classrooms for JAG Specialists and students across the country