June 4, 2020
I am moved by those who courageously lift their voices—through words and actions—to challenge each of us and our school to take stock of our own complicity in the fact that we still live in a world in which Black people are systematically oppressed, mistreated, and murdered at the hands of the white majority. We can do better, our school can do more, and as the head of our school, I can do more.
In our history and lifetimes, we have experienced a steady drumbeat of killings and injustices—George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper most recently and so many others. We are now witnessing the latest evidence of the toll our collective actions over our history have taken on Black communities as we see the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black people.
I want to state, in no uncertain terms, that Black lives matter; that we are unequivocally an anti-racist community. We are called as a school and a nation to take action. With the full weight of the GFS faculty, staff, and School Committee behind me, I recommit to focusing squarely on recentering equity and anti-racism within the GFS experience, on methodically establishing organizational and curricular frameworks that ensure that all students, faculty, and staff understand the systems of oppression we are part of, the biases that we have within us, and the steps we can take to affect change. We strive to provide an environment where our Black students, faculty, staff, families, and alumni feel affirmed and celebrated.
In the near-term, we will move forward in unity with requests from students and faculty to focus on anti-racist training and equitable teaching practices for our faculty; the continued development and implementation of a formalized African American Studies course for our students; and school-wide programmed days dedicated to education in diversity, equity, and inclusion. In collaboration with academic leaders, a comprehensive plan for these initiatives will be created and shared this summer. We will also share a report from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office about what we have accomplished this year.
To our Black students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, neighbors and friends, we are with you. I am with you. We can and will do better by and for you.
Head of School
With the input from students, faculty, staff, and alumni, we compiled the following list of resources and ways for us to take action.
Please view a statement shared on Friday, May 29 from Dana Weeks and Dr. Angela Campbell, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, regarding recent acts of racism.