A statement from The Institute for Learning Innovation

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education, and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”


Dr. Martin Luther King, leader of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, evoked these words during his acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway when he received the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Worldwide, societies have made some progress on this goal. However, the events of the past week starkly highlight the continual, daily injustices faced globally by our Black, Brown, and Indigenous brothers and sisters. The Institute for Learning Innovation expresses its support for assembly and protest and stands in solidarity with communities of color voicing their deep anguish, outrage, and grief toward social systems that continue to oppress and devalue their lives.

One of the systems that contribute to oppression and marginalization worldwide is the education system, broadly writ. Educational institutions such as schools, museums, and some libraries and community organizations, primarily focus on a subset of learners, meeting a subset of learning needs. Unfortunately, even within this narrow agenda, most of these institutions and organizations fail to achieve the most basic educational goal – the creation of unbiased, empowered people. The entire educational enterprise has mainly reinforced, rather than broken generational cycles of poverty, not only economic poverty, but poverty of social/cultural access and mobility, and poverty of learning opportunities.

We can and must do better.

Research shows that access to, and ongoing support for learning, is the best way to end generational cycles of poverty. Informed, intellectually engaged people elevate themselves, their communities, and their societies. We embrace these findings. Our organization’s vision is to create a global society in which all people have equitable and unlimited access, ability, and support for the learning they want and need. Our mission is to ensure that learning can happen and does happen, wherever, whenever, with whom and however someone chooses.

To create a healthier, sustainable, and just world, all of us must work diligently and faithfully to move forward from this moment. We need to listen, to try to understand, to respond with respect and humility, and most of all, to learn from the moment so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. The Institute for Learning Innovation pledges to continue to study, understand and promote equitable learning worldwide.

We end with the words of Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator & philosopher, best known for his influential book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed:

“Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.”



Posted Jun 3, 2020