by Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor

Our nation and local communities are in turmoil sparked by the killing of George Floyd, which came on the heels of several weeks of outrage and sadness over racial tragedies, including the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We grieve for Mr. Floyd, Mr. Arbery, and Ms. Taylor, and we feel a range of emotions, sadness, rage, grief, and disappointment among them, because as a society we have not done the required work to overcome generations of systemic racism.

As individuals and as an institution with a renewed and expanded commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we must speak up against the racism and injustices that have led to disproportionate rates of incarceration, poverty, disease, and killing of Black people and other people of color. We must stand with our African American students, families, faculty and staff, and alumnae, and those of African descent, as allies committed to anti-racist work.

As an educational institution committed to equity and justice, we must help members of our community have the difficult conversations about race that are always necessary, but imperative as we witness the historic events of today. Talking about race is not easy. That is why we must educate and train ourselves on how to do this as both members of a nation continuing to struggle with racism and racial disparities, and as a school in which we know students and faculty and staff of different races and ethnicities have different experiences in many ways.

As an educational institution committed to equity and justice, we must help members of our community have the difficult conversations about race that are always necessary, but imperative as we witness the historic events of today. 

I have included a list of resources below, many of them recommended by our faculty. In addition, tomorrow, June 2, at 3 pm Common Sense Media will host a live discussion entitled "Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma & Race in a World of Non-Stop News."

School is out of session for the summer and we are separated from each other due to the pandemic, but I trust we will find ways to engage in the conversations and work needed to see change come out of these tragic events. Should students want to come together in conversations on these topics, please reach out to me and we will help to facilitate online gatherings. Our girls deserve a better world and that relies on all of us standing up and speaking out about injustice. We ask our girls to be courageous and use their voices for good. This is a time for all of us to do the same.

Resources for talking with children about racism and protests
Anti-Racist Education
Resources for Healing
Historical and Current Context 
  • "Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice" and "Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)" by Bryan Stevenson
  • Equal Justice Initiative: https://eji.org/
  • "On Being" podcast with Imani Perry, talking about what it means raising her two sons
    "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  • 1619 Project
  • "13th" (documentary available on Netflix) 
  • "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," by Michelle Alexander

UPDATE 6/2/20 at 3 PM: An earlier version of this statement used the word "blacks" to refer to Black people. The statement has been corrected and we apologize for the error.

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