Dear Sparhawk Past and Present and Future,
We write to you today dedicated to Sparhawk's role in being part of systemic change; our children are our future and we need to shape this future into something far more equitable.
It is clear that there is a reckoning coming to this country that is long overdue.
Humanity is not up for debate. Black lives matter.
Our country was founded on the assumption of fundamental rights and principles all while being built on the backs of black slaves. There have been moments when we have faced the systematic racism woven into the fabric of our union, times like the Emancipation Proclamation, the passing of the 15th Amendment, Brown versus the Board of Education, and the Civil Rights Act. Where we have failed is in the presumption that those important moments, those documents of equality created a more just, peaceful, and equitable society for black Americans. We discuss racism, but we do not educate for anti-racism. We create false equivalencies and misplaced faith in systems that have failed black and brown people. The thousands if not millions of people marching across our country, sharing in the words of past marches are right: No Justice. No Peace.
It is the time to know how we will help change the systematic racism that our students are being knowingly or unknowingly raised within. Now is the time to step forward, ensure that this is not a passing moment easily swept aside in a culture so invested in fad-activism; we teach this history so that we never forget it. Our children learn the names of our founding fathers. They understand the importance of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. But we now have founders of this reckoning, founders of a movement that, through their deaths, has the opportunity to change the world.
At Sparhawk, we will say their names out-loud, we will teach their stories: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Ahmed Arbery, and countless others.
We do not know all what will come but we do know this: Sparhawk School is dedicated to change, to make what has been implicit in our curriculum and culture into something that is explicit. Just being kind is not enough. We want to create space for our black students to be heard and supported. We want to ensure that all of our students understand what it is to be an ally, what it is to speak up for the oppressed, to own another's pain and disenfranchisement as if it were their own. We will learn more about how to be better allies. Sparhawk School is committed to building a more inclusive, diverse, supportive and anti-racist community.
You will be hearing from members of our team as we plan, research, and build a sustainable, impactful curriculum that focuses on critical thinking, understanding the systemic nature of racism, open dialogue, and identifying bias. Our teachers have already begun the important work of providing space for our students to discuss these issues; we want to listen well so that we can hear their voices. This will take a community and we are all grateful to have the opportunity to work together towards positive, lasting change.
We will do better.
We want you to help. We are gathering resources to build new pathways for understanding inclusivity, diversity, and anti-racism. We want to be transparent about how together we can build a curriculum not just for our students, but for our parents and teachers. We want you to be a part of this journey. There is more to come. There will always be more to come. For now, we want to share with you this resource for discussing racism with your child. We begin to change history, by helping our children understand. We can not shy away from this moment. Talking About Race
Our community is made of more than just what is mandated, a community that endeavors to be courageous in the face of unknowns. If you or your child needs support during this time, please reach out. Our guidance counselors, our administrative team, and teachers are here to listen and help.