My name is Meredith McMonigle and I work for FSA as part of the backbone team. I grew up in a white, middle class suburb outside of Philadelphia in an Irish Catholic household with parents who were passionate about education as a path to security and prosperity. My dad was the first in his large family to go to college while my mom didn’t have that chance herself. I was afforded many opportunities as a child that helped me grow and thrive, opportunities that I as I look back I took for granted at the time.
Prior to coming to FSA, I worked in the public schools as a high school teacher. In that role, I saw up close some of the terrible effects our racial history has on the lives of young people. In my first week on the job, a young black male student lost his life to gun violence while some of his white student counterparts were off taking three AP classes in 10th grade. Something was not right. I threw myself into these school and larger community justice issues and did my best to listen, advocate and support students.
Over time, as I saw some things get worse, like the school to prison pipeline, I wanted to be a part of an initiative that could do more than one teacher or one school in dismantling racism. That’s how I found my way to FSA when it started back in 2014. It’s truly an honor to work with members of the FSA team, especially those who are or have struggled with poverty and systematic racism. While I myself am not directly impacted by these injustices, they do diminish my life, the life of our community and the country as a whole. That’s a fight worth fighting for.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”