Dear St. Michael's Community,
This week our academic year will draw to a close, and we will do all we can to celebrate achievements, milestones, and the Class of 2020. However, we would be doing ourselves and our School community a disservice not to acknowledge and reckon with the very real anger, pain, and frustration that many of us are feeling right now. The horrific killing of George Floyd and many other African Americans before him has caused outrage in cities around our country, including Richmond. Our fellow Americans, merely based on the color of their skin, experience threats of institutionalized racism and violence on a regular basis. We must do better as a country, and all of us are called to be part of the solution.
When our city, country, and the world are in pain, our school community is too. We must unite, act as one, and be clear in our conviction to oppose racism, bigotry, and abuse of power. These acts are byproducts of hate, in contrast to our DRAGONS values which call upon us to embody respect, acceptance, and kindness towards all. Right now, this means supporting one another, listening instead of judging, and acting from a place of love and compassion.
In the words of Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry of the Episcopal Church, “Love looks like all of us as a people of every race and religion and national origin and political affiliation, all of us standing up and saying ‘Enough! We can do better than this. We can be better than this.’”
At St. Michael’s, we know we have more work to do to be better agents of change. This past January, we created an equity committee initially composed of faculty members to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion at St. Michael’s. As I finish my first year at St M, I plan for my second year to include opportunities to bring us closer together to teach and promote the inclusive identity and community of love we espouse as an Episcopal school. We will strive to ask the right questions, work hard to listen, and take necessary steps to learn and love better.
With you, I’m ready to expand our efforts towards fully promoting, teaching, inspiring and embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is the essence of love. And, this is the essence of our DRAGONS values.
As you have conversations at home, the National Association of Independent Schools, of which St. Michael’s is a part, suggests these resources for families:
Head of School
Chair, Board of Directors