May 30, 2020

Dear BB&N Community:

These last few days have been hard to navigate. I personally oscillate between profound sadness, intense anger, and thoughts about what I, as the Head of School, can and should do about the racism and inequities that are currently on display—yet again—through the recent losses of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Their lives matter. This only compounds the deep sorrow I have felt as I have watched so many students in our country being denied an equitable education over the last few months, as the move to remote learning has only exacerbated the educational inequities that already existed in America. Coupled with watching a virus disproportionately attack the most vulnerable members of our society, all of this can feel overwhelming, paralyzing in a way. 

Yet, I decided to write today because I feel that silence is not okay right now. I know from personal experience that breaking the silence, and standing together across differences, can change the hearts and minds of a nation. So, I speak in the way that I can, as a white woman with immense privileges, one of which is leading our diverse, inclusive, independent school. Our school has certainly made a commitment in recent years to engage in this work with full and open hearts. We have doubled down on our efforts to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion across our community. We aim to have every student in our community feel that they belong and can be heard, seen, and educated. We believe unequivocally in combating injustices and breaking the cycles that have haunted our nation for not only years, but centuries. And we are committed to difficult conversations across races, ethnicities, gender identities, political beliefs, and religious traditions. But we are also very aware that this shared commitment and work, though long-standing, is in many respects just beginning.

As our school year winds down in this virtual reality, it might feel hard to provide the feeling of community we so desperately need right now. But, I know we are up to the challenge. This begins by supporting all members of our community, in particular our students, families, and faculty/staff who identify as Black and/or African American for whom these incidents are especially painful. Join me in reaching out to say we stand with you, we care for you, and we are here to support you however we can. It means acknowledging these injustices with our students/children. As always, our counselors and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Global Education (DEIG) team are standing at the ready to engage in these conversations for any families or children who need support. In addition, there are many resources you might find helpful on the DEIG pages on our Remote Learning Hub. 

Community also means BB&N leading the conversation in areas where we can make the most impact. For the past few weeks, we have been working with Milton Academy, Noble and Greenough, Winsor School, and Moorestown Friends School on a virtual panel titled Independent Schools and Beyond: The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color. Through this panel, which will take place this summer, we hope to foster connections across the broader Boston area and Northeast region, examine the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on communities of color, and delve into the current climate of our country and recent events.

Above all, community means not staying silent. Not now, not when the news cycle moves on, not ever. I hope you will join me, or have me join you, in these ongoing conversations. Please take care of yourself, and each other, and let us know if we can help in any way.

Best,

Dr. Jennifer Price
Head of School
P.S. A reminder that if you or your family are struggling in any way due to the implications of the pandemic, please let us know via this confidential form . We are ready to help in any way we can!