To the Madison ABC Family:

The mission of Madison ABC is rooted in racial justice and equity. As a program we condemn racism and racial injustice in the strongest terms. The tragic murder of George Floyd has again emphasized that there is much work to be done. The “A Better Chance” program has always striven to be a vehicle for change and opportunity. It was born in the midst of the great Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s to break down cultural barriers by bringing together people from different backgrounds. These encounters create new relationships, and build a true sense of community, where a person’s heart, and not his skin tone, is the true measure of his worth.

In the predominantly white community of Madison, most of us are shielded from the all-tooreal struggles that continue to confront people of color in this nation. However as we witness racist tragedies such as the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, we join in the rage and the heartbreak and ask, what can Madison ABC do? As allies, we will take action by recognizing and fighting against the ways in which racism shows up in our community: through white passivity, silence, and racial microaggression. We will channel our energy and resources into engaging local political figures, educators, police, and community leaders because the fight for justice and accountability calls on all of us to show up. Finally, we will keep our community informed as we take action.

As we watch these repeated tragedies unfold, we are cognizant of the myriad emotions for our Scholars and their families. Therefore, we pledge to those Scholars that come through our doors that the Madison ABC community will be one of inclusion, support and love. We will continue to welcome Scholars and their families as well as their predecessors and successors with open arms. Our mission has always been to educate and prepare young people of color to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in American culture. We will continue that mission in a way that not only educates and enlightens both the Scholars and our community as a whole, but does so in a safe and nurturing environment.

May you all stay safe and healthy, and may God bless and keep you through these difficult and troubling times.

Facts about Madison ABC

Mission: To provide academically talented young men of color the opportunity to have an outstanding secondary school education. Their four-year experience at Daniel Hand High School gives them the skills to excel in college and beyond, preparing them to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in society.

Enrollment: Each year we seek to fill the house with up to six qualified scholars who are well matched to take advantage of the educational, cultural, and social opportunities that our community offers.

History: Our first scholars came to Madison in 1970 so this year we are celebrating our 50th anniversary! Madison ABC is a community school program and one of national’s longest-running and most successful programs. Our alumni, who have gone on to attend various colleges and universities, including Dartmouth, Middlebury, Tufts, and Wesleyan, remain in close contact, supporting and mentoring current scholars.

Staff: A resident director, resident assistant, and cook create and maintain a nurturing environment at the Roby House on Durham Road, the scholars’ home in Madison.

Board of Directors: All-volunteer board of approximately 30 members of the shoreline community who set policies for the program and work to ensure its ongoing success.

Host families: Each scholar is paired with a local family with whom he spends at least one weekend a month. Typically host families have a son or daughter who also attends DHHS. The strong relationships formed during their time here endure long after the students graduate.

Funding: The funding of our budget comes through private donations from individuals, local businesses, religious institutions, and community organizations. The ACT II Thrift Shop remains a significant contributor.