Our Commitment to Anti-Racist Work
Jul 27, 2020
As we prepare to welcome the return of our school community, we know our students have lived through a summer of historical significance we cannot ignore. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc worldwide, as well as in our individual homes and families. This global pandemic has also illuminated social and systemic inequities that are directly linked to the disproportionate number of COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths among Black Americans, Latinx, and Native Americans. Its source in China has given rise to anti-Chinese and anti-Asian violence.
In the midst of this, the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others have brought the realities of systemic racism and white supremacy to the forefront and spurred a worldwide movement for radical change. As a society, we have witnessed increased protests and conversations on health disparities, the over-policing of black and brown people, systematic disenfranchisement, and discrimination against people based on race.
We are ALL at a unique time in history. As such, yard signs will not suffice. Rather, these statements are only a beginning. We recognize that our society is standing on the precipice of social freedom and systemic change. We have taught our children about the Civil Rights Movement and the historical figures whose bravery and sacrifice have made our world better for all. But now, we will step into this school year with intention, grounded in the mission of International Baccalaureate to create a better world. We are dedicated to giving our school community agency in the fight against racism and practices rooted in systemic inequities.
Wesley is a diverse school with families from different backgrounds, languages and cultures, and experience talking about topics of race. We are committed to engaging this moment of change together as a community. We are dedicated to anti-racist work and to ensuring our children grow as free thinkers and social change agents in their own lives and in the world.
To that end, we are working to create brave spaces for our staff, teachers, students, and families to hold conversations about identity, race, and implementing actions toward anti-racist work. We believe these conversations are extremely valuable in this time of social distance so that we emerge stronger to continue the fight and pick up the mantle for social freedom and systemic change for us and the generations to come.
We want our children to do more than survive. We want them to thrive in a society that is equipped for their growth and potential. We want their education to be a tool of freedom, creativity, and innovation that transcends social and systemic inhibitions. Thank you for walking on this journey with us.
We encourage you to participate. As such, I have asked Dr. Dukes to lead this work. Her extensive knowledge of our school community, years in the educational arena, and her work with CREATE as an Equity Fellow alumna and facilitator will be a great resource and asset. Please expect future communication regarding training and speakers, suggested readings, practical resources, and affinity groups. If you have thoughts or ideas about how you would like to engage these topics at Wesley, please reach out. We want to hear from you.