Our Commitment and Opportunity to Listen and LearnJune 3, 2020
A Message from Our CEO
CEO Greg Sebasky sent the following message to Ascend Learning team members today.
Ascend Team Members,
As we all witness the difficult and painful events of the past week, I, like many of you are experiencing understandable feelings of grief, fear, anger and sadness. I believe we’re all looking for the right words to express our strong support for those suffering due to ongoing racism and discrimination as well as the unequal treatment and lack of opportunity for many people, including black, brown, and indigenous citizens of our country. True humanity requires opportunity, justice and equality be accessible to everyone. I don’t have a perfect answer or perfect words to address all that is happening around us, but I do believe together we can continue to make a meaningful difference in the world. And I know we all share a desire to do what is right by and for all people.
I value the quote from W.E.B. Du Bois, author of one of the books I began reading last year, in my attempt to learn and understand more about our nation’s history that influenced my perspective about this long-standing struggle and the impact of opportunity and equality of every person. (Note that in 1903, the use of the word “man”, rather than person, was reflective of another unfortunate part of our country’s history)
“The equality in political, industrial and social life which modern men must have in order to live, is not to be confounded with sameness. On the contrary, in our case, it is rather insistence upon the right of diversity; – upon the right of a human being to be a man even if he does not wear the same cut of vest, the same curl of hair or the same color of skin. Human equality does not even entail, as it is sometimes said, absolute equality of opportunity; for certainly the natural inequalities of inherent genius and varying gift make this a dubious phrase. But there is more and more clearly recognized minimum of opportunity and maximum of freedom to be, to move and to think, which the modern world denies to no being which it recognizes as a real man.”
― W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
Now the question is what “I” or “we” can do about it. Thankfully, as a company, our mission is focused on being passionate advocates for changing lives — we will not waiver in this commitment. Through our work, we accelerate people’s ability to have the opportunity to enter new professions, both degreed and non-degreed. Our pursuit of excellence for our clients is uncompromised and will remain at the forefront of everything we do. Our unique culture is also
rooted in a strong foundation of values that bring us together, drive us forward and guide how we work.
As an organization focused on learning, we all have a responsibility to start conversations and to listen intently to others in an effort to gain understanding and knowledge. Through learning about and listening to each other we become stronger advocates for inclusivity, equality and human rights. And we will continue to invest in training and opening up dialog across our teams that builds our collective understanding to establish an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.
Most of the systemic solutions that are necessary encompass policy, legislative, and legal changes. It’s up to you to decide what you support, how you use your voice and to vote for what you believe in your local, state and federal elections.
I stand behind all that we are working toward to change lives for the better. And, as each of you stand with your friends, your loved ones and those in your communities I support you as we jointly work to ignite our efforts toward a better future and a better world for all of us. A world where equality, opportunity and justice can prevail.