To the Extended LA Family,
Our students, always the center of our care and work, have just finished the most unusual and difficult term any of us could have imagined. As we truly found a way to appreciate our last remote classes and meetings together, unjust events demanded our attention in the most immediate way possible.
We have communicated previously this week regarding the support we put together for our students in the moment, but we also want to reinforce two things with the greatest clarity possible as we leave the school year and look to a future in need of strength and systemic repair.
First, we believe injustice, abuse, hatred, suspicion, oppression—these forces personalized and systematized against people of color—constitute a wrong we have an obligation to identify and oppose. Second, we believe education is a primary agent in this process of confrontation and change.
Over this year, we have refined our focus and practice in our
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
efforts. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we are also humbled by the magnitude of the task at hand, both immediately in our environment and more broadly across the country and world.
To make sure we are communicating well our fundamental approaches and language, we are showing and sharing our work with you. The following links will take you to
recent comments to the community. The image at the end of this email reflects draft language we have developed over the year, to be finalized at our end-of-year faculty meetings next week.
In a reciprocal way, we ask those in our extended LA family—alums, parents, and parents of alums—to share their work. If you or someone close to you has been involved in any part of the movement we are experiencing, please let us know. You can reach out to Raquel who will be gathering these stories and sharing them with the broader community.
In addition, while our focus this week has been on our students, faculty, and families, we recognize the need to provide a space for our alumni as they process these events. Alumni - please stay tuned for more information on the forums we will be creating in the next couple of weeks to engage with you directly.
As our working mission below states,
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
are not just add-ons to be used on a particular day of the year or in the midst of confusion and contention.
is a way of thinking, acting, existing, and healing.
The DEI team read the following books this year, and we recommend them as tools for all who want to continue the conversation:
- Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race by Derald Wing Sue
- Schooltalk: Rethinking What We Say About and To Students Every Day by Mica Pollock
- White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- Not Light, But Fire by Matthew R. Kay
We also realize that there is a desire to better understand the current events that are taking place. The link below provides an additional and initial resource including articles, podcasts, and videos with more information on the topic of systemic racism and anti – black violence from both a current day and historical perspective.
We are grateful for your presence and participation in this mission.
, Head of School
Dean of Equity and Community Affairs