Response to Covid-19

A letter from Commit CEO Todd Williams and President Dottie Smith.

19 March 2020

Dear friends,

We truly hope you are as well as possible at this unsettling moment in our community’s and nation’s history. As of this writing, many of our partnering K-12 and higher education systems have closed indefinitely. With this development, the nature of our work has undeniably changed.

Yet we continued to be inspired by our incredible leaders at the local, county, and state level who have acted quickly and decisively to take care of our students and our community and who continue to work incredibly long hours to prepare for a new tomorrow.

Amidst the uncertainty, we are holding fast to our mission: to advocate for, and work in support of, an excellent and equitable education system that ensures all students have the power to determine their futures.

We recognize that we have a responsibility to pursue this vision in a manner that keeps the Partnership’s backbone staff, its partners, and our community safe and healthy. That’s why since Thursday, March 12 – and until further notice– the Commit offices are closed, with all staff working remotely in support of the Partnership. All scheduled future convenings that are still appropriate will now be held digitally while we collectively navigate this crisis.

Our responsibility to the community extends beyond the mission of our various coalitions supporting early learning (Early Matters Dallas), effective teaching (Best-in-Class) and post-secondary completion (Dallas County Promise). It is increasingly clear that the most vulnerable among us will be hit hardest by this pandemic and its attendant economic consequences. It will be incumbent upon all of us, including our foundations, our nonprofits, our school leaders, and our policy makers alike to meet a growing set of needs in the coming weeks and months. Our students and their families are counting on us like never before.

In this ever-changing landscape, we will not presume to know what you, our valued partners, truly need. But we want to make it clear that whatever is within our power to accomplish on behalf of our students, we are willing and able to work towards it.

We are in uncertain times, but I am confident in the collective strength of this community and its leaders. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us personally: todd.williams@commitpartnership.org or dottie.smith@commitpartnership.org. Thank you for everything you do.

With humble gratitude,

Todd Williams and Dottie Smith
CEO and President
The Commit Partnership