To The Field School Community,
The tragic series of events last week that occurred in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas underscores the continuing and painful challenges our society faces when it comes to race and highlights the great importance of our schools to teach and engage students in dialogue about race, difference, and privilege. It feels important to me that our community be reminded of Field’s commitment to addressing these issues and to share our renewed commitment—in response to these recent events, but also because we are always seeking to improve our practice—to do even better this coming school year.
Some of you may not know that in 2010 Field’s Board, administrative leadership, faculty, and staff adopted a commitment to multicultural competence and recognized the conviction as deeply embedded and central to Field’s mission and core values. Our community has made significant and important steps towards multicultural competence in the years before and since the commitment was made public. Our latest edition of our annual magazine, Field Notes, rightly and proudly details the advances our community has made in this area over the last 10 years.
This past week, Field’s leadership team was on a retreat when the tragic news reports were becoming known to us. We decided to suspend our scheduled work and took time to process and discuss the events and to reflect on Field’s commitment to multicultural competence, to seeing every student as an individual, and to our mission of Self Discovery, Skills of Mind, and Generosity of Heart.
Coming out of our leadership retreat, it is our overall assessment that as leaders and as a community, we can still do better in addressing issues of race, difference, and privilege. And we can do better in supporting our students, faculty, and staff who belong to minority populations in a school that is predominantly white, heterosexual, and affluent. We reaffirm our conviction that as we do better on these issues, it serves all in our community and better prepares all students to live a life with greater positive impact on our world.
So in the aftermath of last week’s events, which we recognize are not isolated but representative of a painful part of our ongoing national history, we are moved to respond with heart, wisdom, and strength. We commit to work with the faculty, staff, and our board this fall to further improve and hasten our work towards multicultural competence, and we commit to better communicate about these issues to our students and to the broader Field community.
We are reminded that to be silent in the face of injustice is to be complicit. I feel it is important to share our voice, to share with you our grief and frustration, to remind you of Field’s values and commitments, and to ask for your support as we plan for a new school year and the opportunities that await to build an even stronger community.
May we all find healing, compassion, conviction, and peace in the summer weeks that remain.
Aude Sapere—Dare to Be Wise.