As a school and a community, we have watched the protests and rallies in the U.S. and around the world as people have mobilized to stand up against anti-Black racism. We want to acknowledge the deep damage to humanity caused by racism, and our sincere belief as educators that every child has the right to be loved, respected, and supported to become the best version of themselves in our school.
I specifically want to take a moment to recognize, honour, and mourn the loss of George Floyd in Minneapolis. I did not know Mr. Floyd, but in his death, and as President Obama said earlier this week, a national awakening is occurring; and I know his death and the many unjustified deaths before his, have deeply impacted many of us. This has certainly touched me deeply. This week, I have had several conversations and opportunities to pause and reflect. Students have reached out to us, wanting our school to do more to educate, to create understanding, and for us to be part of the solution.
As we come to the end of another school year, please remember the important work of creating the conditions for human beings to thrive involves all of us. This is not a single moment in time, but an opportunity and a moral imperative to create positive and lasting change. I believe we have a collective responsibility to make the world a better place. As educators, we owe this to our students.
As our Prime Minister said during his daily briefing, Canada is not immune. We must stand together against racism and discrimination in all forms. As a community, we can and must do better - and we absolutely will do better, as the responsibility and the opportunity before us is one we simply cannot ignore.
As conversations evolve, please take time to have these important dialogues with your children and encourage them to reach out to their teachers and administrators. I promise you, as your Head of School, that we will listen, learn, and act.
Our mission inspires our students to bring their best each and every day. We ask our students to model excellence in scholarship, character and leadership, and from an early age we instill the value of student voice, choice, and agency. Now is the moment for leadership.
As we close out this school year, we have the opportunity to commit to the important ongoing work of learning, understanding, and advocating. Open and honest discourse, standing up for what is right, respecting different perspectives and taking visible actions are what we do. Let’s challenge each other on a daily basis to make our school, homes, and communities safer.
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I have been learning of the actions our students and teachers are undertaking in their classes and advisory groups this week, and am humbled and encouraged by the student voices that are emerging, demanding more from society. As adults, we have a responsibility to work not from a place of fear, but from a place of hope. I commit to listening and working with our students, staff and families as we continue to nurture an inclusive, safe, equitable, and respectful community. Please know, we believe this is an ongoing journey of growth and learning for all and we want to walk together with our families to support the young people in our care. At the end of my message, I have included resources that parents and students may find useful in creating positive change and for providing forums for discussion.
The following video clip is compelling:
Before You Call the Cops
Anti-Racism resource for parents, teachers and young adults on racism and colour
Resources on racial injustice and police brutality from UTS
Anti-Racism resources and other black-focused groups to support in Calgary
Mrs. Carol Grant-Watt
Head of School