I am proud to be the Head of a school where our Black students and alumni are speaking out as part of a national movement.
Earlier today, I posted
to the Beaver Instagram story speaking directly to students. I used Instagram because I know that’s where many of our students are, and more specifically, it’s the platform our Black students and alumni have been using to share their experiences. In addition, students are also receiving this email.
Beaver faculty and staff stand ready to listen, learn, and act.
While Beaver has prioritized creating a diverse and inclusive community for a long time, I want to be clear about our commitment to becoming a more actively antiracist community, beginning with looking at ourselves and where we can do better. We know that kind of commitment needs to be unwavering and must be part of our everyday lives.
After several months of conversation and planning that began last fall, we have adjusted our administrative structure to better support that ongoing work. In late March, we made the decision to expand our Upper School administration to include a Director and an Assistant Director of Student Life and Equity. We hired Jimmy Manruyu for the Director’s position and Elisha Cho—US Spanish teacher and Dean for the Class of 2020—has accepted a new role as the Assistant Director. Joe Christy, who has served as Beaver’s Director of Engagement and Inclusion, will partner more closely with Tiffany Marsh in the Middle School to support the ongoing work in that division.
Changing the administrative structure of our diversity, equity, and inclusion work does not mean we have changed our philosophy that this is
everyone’s work. Every teacher, administrator, staff member, student—our entire community—needs to take responsibility. This structural change makes it an even stronger priority and gives support to the work that lies ahead.
One of the many outcomes I hope will be to clarify and expand the pathways of communication and increase accountability. Students who experience painful acts of injustice, intentional or not, that stem from long-standing systemic racism in this country, will have a safe place to report them and people they trust to help us in our active commitment to antiracism.
It is incumbent upon institutions like Beaver, built upon a foundation of privilege, not only to focus on diversity and accessibility to excellent education but also to use their positions of relative power as leverage in fighting systemic racism. This will not just be an area of focus for the short term; it will be an ongoing area of priority.