The heart of the D2 Center mission is to re-engage struggling high school students and provide support as they make progress towards their high school diploma. Our philosophy is that helping to increase student access to educational opportunities and academic success leads not only to personal satisfaction and long-term benefits for the student, but also to a stronger, healthier community overall.
The D2 Center was founded to reduce gaps in graduation rates due to poverty, ethnicity and race, and other factors like parenting, lack of family support, LGBTQ status, and involvement in the juvenile/criminal justice system. A disproportionate number of youth who drop out of or struggle in school are students of color, largely due to our country’s long history of racial discrimination and inequality. Students who leave school before graduating face a lifetime of limited opportunities, including unemployment, lower earnings over time, and poorer health.
At the D2 Center we stand against racism and violence against our students, families, and neighbors of color and other marginalized groups. The past few weeks have shown we have more work to do as an organization, a city, and a country.
We have always been committed to supporting diversity in our staff and the students we serve. Now we are committed to actively increasing our understanding of institutional racism to help make positive change in our community. To start, that includes seeking out dialogue with community partners and those we serve, participating in trainings to learn more about systemic inequality, racism, and bias, and reviewing our own policies to ensure our organization’s processes and culture do not contribute to inequity. It’s through this work we will become stronger as an organization and better able to serve our students, families, and community.
Greg Emmel and Carolyn T. Miller, D2 Center Executive Directors