It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today, taking in all the turmoil in our nation at this time. I am sure that you join me in mourning the senseless death of George Floyd last week, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many other people of color before. As a School of the Sacred Heart that educates to a social awareness which impels to action, we must do just that. Let us act in ways that are meaningful to the cause of justice and that are in support of each other.
In his letter to the Villanova community, Villanova President Reverend Peter M. Donohue contextualized it perfectly, saying,
"With COVID-19, we witnessed what was occurring and swiftly and dramatically changed behaviors in order to save lives. As I think about George Floyd, and the numerous other black men and women who have been killed unjustly, I can't help but wonder, why isn't our reaction the same? When will we understand that injustice affects us all? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best when he said: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
Stuart is a richly diverse community and we strive to achieve equity and inclusion for each and every member of the Stuart community. Simply put, injustice in the form of racism experienced by anyone in our community is an affront to our entire community. The recent events make it clear that we have not exorcised the demons that have plagued our nation since its founding, and members of our community are understandably hurting. I encourage all parents and students to engage in meaningful conversations around race and racism. These are not easy conversations to have, but they serve to enhance our common understanding and sense of community. Please see the resources provided below in support of this effort.
Let us join together as a community in prayer for justice and equality in our nation, led by Msgr. Greg Malovetz, on Tuesday afternoon at 12:30 PM. I invite you to join us by clicking on the following link: stream.meet.google.com/stream/
In addition, we will be inviting our girls to share their feelings around these most recent events. Middle School students will be free to gather on GoogleMeet at SEED from 12:45-1:30 PM on Wednesday and Upper School students at SEED from 1-2 PM on Thursday.
We are all in this together and I trust that with God's grace and guidance, we will emerge from the trials of 2020 better and stronger than ever.
In commitment to our mission,
Patty L. Fagin, PhD
Head of School
Discussion Question: Take a moment to identify at least three behaviors, thought patterns, and daily interactions that are a direct result of your white privilege. Then, consider how you might interrogate and confront each of them.
"From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces" by Brian Arao & Kristi Clemens (Please note this is a lengthier article. We recommend reading at least the first three paragraphs.)
Lower School - Readings of these picture books can be found on YouTube
Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano
Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham
Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester
Middle School/Upper School
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell
How To Be Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson
Levar Burton: I put hands outside car when pulled over (Trigger warning: The n-word is used in this clip.)