Dear San Domenico Community Members,
We write to you today with July 4th just around the corner, and after much conversation and reflection about the challenges we currently face as a world, nation, community, and school: the pain, loss, suffering, and fear that is a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the pain, loss, suffering and fear that is a result of our country’s historic and ongoing challenges with racism and racist ideology. The timing of this year’s holiday celebrating the birth of our nation - a nation in which white supremacy has always played a role - brings up many questions. What does it mean to be American? What does it mean to be patriotic? And for our SD leadership team, what else can we do? How can we best acknowledge the recent protests and calls for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and the countless others who have suffered and died senseless deaths at the hands of social injustice and brutality. What can we do to honor the students and alumni who have shared their experiences with the hope that we do better? How can we best respond to the call for SD to do more in support of diversity and inclusivity, values that are core to our mission?
The truth is, we don't have all of the answers and we will continue to do better than we have done in the past. Since forming our first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee four years ago, we have worked together taking steps toward a more diverse and inclusive community. While our efforts have been imperfect at times, and there is still much more work to do, we are listening, we are learning, and we are committed to having the conversations and growing in justice together. In dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, we are stronger together and recognize that we must take shared responsibility for our neighbors (literally and figuratively). The same is true in facing the challenges of overcoming the pandemic of racism: we are stronger together, and we must take shared responsibility in bringing forth social and racial justice.
As a school, our strength to effect change lies primarily in educating students who graduate and go out into the world equipped to make an impact in areas of social justice, racial equity, environmental sustainability, and more. Many of our alumni are examples of this and we commend all they are doing to realize change after 400-years of injustice.
Our teachers, counselors, students, staff, DEI team members, and Board of Trustees continue to work together to develop systems, protocols, curriculum, communications, and resources to model, share, inspire, and we hope, to propel positive change.
As a school, we will strive to collaborate even more with our students and student organizations focused on addressing racial injustice, and, to celebrate more diversity across all areas of our school.
Change is always the culmination of many steps, big and small, and for those of you asking what you can do, we encourage you to read books such as How to Be an AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi or Waking Up White by Debby Irving (last summer’s SD Community Read). Support companies founded by people of color such as the locally based McBride Sisters Collection. Research organizations doing equity work, such as the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund or the American Civil Liberties Union and support them with whatever resources you have to offer. As for us, we know we have a lot of work to do and for some, we are not moving forward fast enough. But we promise we will continue striving to deliver on our mission of recognizing what it means to be human in a global community and responding with integrity to the needs and challenges of our time. And on this fourth of July, we commit to working toward an America where all races share in the same opportunities and where our founding principles of equality and freedom are finally realized for all.
Board of Trustees Chair.
Dad to Ava '22
Cecily Stock '77, M.A., J.D.
Head of School
Director of Residential Life
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
and your SD Leadership Team