Dear CA Community,
In the week since the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a white police officer, our community has mourned and marched alongside many across the United States, and the world. Floyd’s death follows too many others in a history of American racism that has brought countless Black lives to untimely and violent ends.
We as the leaders of Concord Academy write to you today to speak out against racial injustice, to remind us of the values that bind us, and share some steps we’ll be taking in the short term before we share the work we hope to accomplish collectively in the coming days and weeks.
Last Friday, we gathered on the Chapel lawn to celebrate our seniors, along with their families, friends, faculty, and staff via livestream. After their contributions to our community, they deserved such an event, and yet we acknowledge just how much of a privilege and honor it was to be able to focus so much energy, and even a part of that day, on celebration, while so many across our country cannot. The murder of so many Black Americans, and the protests that have followed, remind us both of this privilege, and also of the work that is at the core of our community: to truly see, hear, and support one another, and to fight the racism, ignorance, and indifference that lead to such violence.
This is work we are called to do. Written into our mission as a school is how we honor each individual. We strive for equity as we cultivate empathy, integrity, and responsibility — all built on a foundation of trust. Let us be clear: This work is imperative, and though we may be physically distant, we are more committed to this work now than ever.
We are reminded of the importance of this work as we name those we know have been murdered in the last few months alone — George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Monika Diamond, and Ahmaud Arbery, and recognize that there have been countless others who remain unnamed. We are also reminded of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on Black and Brown communities because of the systemic inequities in health care, housing, income, and more. None of these are accidents. One of the goals of our mission, which calls upon us to build a more just and sustainable world, is to graduate people who are dedicated to resolving these kinds of systemic problems. We are proud of our alumnae/i for the ways in which we see them taking up this vital work.
Over the past week, members of our community have responded to this moment with the hallmarks of CA’s core values: with empathy, with intelligence, and with action. Just two days ago, members of the CA campus community joined in a protest in Concord Center. On the same night, recent CA graduates shared a photo of themselves gathered at the protest in Boston. The following day members of the CA community attended a protest at the Robbins House in Concord, where incoming Dean of Academic Program and Equity, Rob Munro, was among the speakers leading the event. Still others have joined in many protests across the state, country, and world. We are proud of the strong spirit of activism that motivates this community, and we stand in solidarity with those who are peacefully protesting against racial violence and racism.
We have heard from many of our Black community members about how difficult this moment is. We want you to know that we hear you, we see you, and we support you. To our Black community members especially, we stand with you.
Over the coming days and weeks, in order to fulfill the potential of this moment, we will make opportunities for our community to engage in reflection, dialogue, and anti-racism work. The Administration and C&E Office are working to create spaces for affinity work and cross-racial dialogue for both adults and students in the coming week. All from our community will be welcome.
We also have been adjusting our schedule. We have moved some deadlines for our faculty and advisors, so that we might have a moment to pause in this moment, and to focus our attention to supporting our Black community. Some of us will need space to grieve, some of us will need space to get to work, and many of us will need space to engage in dialogues about how to make positive change together. We hope to provide spaces for support for all of these needs throughout the summer.
This week our faculty and staff are already engaging in opportunities to gather and opportunities to get to work. This afternoon we are holding an adults of color gathering, protected time and space for adults of color in our community to come together to share, connect, listen, and uplift; and a white accountability gathering, a space to practice vulnerability with one another and renew our vows to justice, so we can hold ourselves accountable to the work of dismantling white supremacy and counteracting anti-Black racism. We are attending seminars, workshops, conferences, and conversations across schools in this moment, knowing the responsibility and power we hold as educators, and that we are committed to ensuring all our students feel safe, seen, known, and supported in our institutions. We are sharing some of this week’s resources here, and will continue to update you on our work and concrete plans over the coming days.
We invite you to share your thoughts and feelings. Please know that we are listening. We are here for you today, as we will be in the days, weeks, and years to come.
In support and solidarity.
Head of School
Dresden Endowed Chair
Assistant Head & Academic Dean
Ben Carmichael ’01
Director of Marketing and Communications
Director of Campus Planning and Construction
Amy Miller-Fredericks P ’20
Marie Myers P’19 ’21 ’21
Director of Enrollment Management
Director of Advancement and Engagement
Laura Twichell ’01
Interim Academic Dean
Dean of Students
Peter Boskey ’08
Interim Dean for Community and Equity
Community and Equity Team Member, Wilcox Fellow in Math, Academic Support Center
Community and Equity Team Member, History Teacher
Community and Equity Team Member, Academic Support Center
Kirsten Hoyte P ’22
Community and Equity Team Member, English Teacher
Community and Equity Team Member, Modern & Classical Languages Teacher