The fight for Black lives needs to happen in schools


As we enter a new era of focusing on mental health, we must prioritize Black young adults. The recent losses of Ian Alexander, Jr., and Cheslie Kryst are very visible tragedies of an underlying crisis we cannot ignore. The suicide rate among 13- to 30-year-olds is growing fastest in the Black community, rising over 50 percent between 2010 and 2019.

A study in The Journal for Community Health found that the rate of death by suicide among Black girls ages 13 to 19 rose 182 percent between 2001 and 2017. And that was before the pandemic, which — research shows — has disproportionately impacted communities of color.

These numbers demand action. We need to actively work to build Black students’ resilience and healing so that thriving — not just surviving — is the goal. Schools are powerful places to work toward that reality.


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