A Letter to the Community from Head of School Gretchen Larkin
CRS Standing Together: A Letter to the Community June 1, 2020
Dear Charles River School Community,
As national events have unfolded, horrifically and tragically, before our eyes, my head has been swirling with feelings of sadness and fear, specifically, for our children of color and their families. In a letter to the faculty I sent yesterday, I addressed our faculty of color directly, saying, “I wish I could wrap my arms around all of you and simply say ‘we’ve got you and we will come through this.’ But as we know, love, compassion, and concern are not enough to conquer racism.”
As a community, we demonstrate our commitment to social justice and lead with empathy and compassion. It is our responsibility to try to be deeply and authentically invested in diversity, equity and inclusion. As a community, it is also our responsibility to help children understand that they can go out and make changes in this world in which we live. And yet, this weekend I was faced with the harsh reality of how easy it has been for me, all of my life, as a white person, to say that I am not racist. It has been so easy for me to claim ally status. I feel a bit ashamed, actually. I need to do better. I have asked myself over and over again this weekend, what can I do and what can our Charles River School community do to demonstrate that we are anti-racist?
In the words of Ibram X. Kendi, “Being anti-racist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.”
Never has it been easier to express one’s beliefs and commitments through a tweet or a Facebook post. However, a post is not an action. This week, our faculty will come together virtually to not only discuss how to support our community as a whole but how we can take action. We will host virtual affinity groups to support our faculty, our students and their families of color. Additionally, there are several links included at the bottom of this email to help facilitate similar conversations in your own homes.
This spring has been exhausting, emotionally and physically. And then I remind myself that racism is neither seasonal nor is it a one-year disruption to life as we know it. Racism is systemic and metastatic; it is a painful and daily challenge for many and it has been for generations.
To every person of color in our community and beyond, I will continue to fight as an ally against racism and I will also do what I can to incite action. And, again, while I know it is not enough, I say to our families and faculty of color: we stand with you.
Charles River School is a PreKindergarten through Grade 8 independent school that honors the pursuit of academic excellence and the joy of childhood. We nurture each child by igniting curiosity, encouraging creativity, and cultivating intellectual engagement. Our graduates know themselves, understand others, and shape the future of our diverse world with confidence and compassion.