As a nation, we have been struggling for months with the impacts of the coronavirus. We know that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on our Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. The disease itself has proved more deadly for these populations. The economic hardships caused by the shutdowns have also more severely affected populations already plagued by financial insecurity. We also recognize that we cannot separate the elevated level of suffering in those communities from institutional racism. This past week, distressingly, we have witnessed—again—another legacy of systemic racism: police violence, this time in the death of George Floyd while in police custody. This event followed the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. All these victims were Black.
As a school, we condemn this violence and decry the terrible toll the virus is taking on so many communities of color. We want our Black, Brown, and Indigenous community members to know that we are holding them in our hearts during this exceptionally difficult time. As our Diversity Mission Statement says, “each of us is responsible for fostering an equitable, respectful, and just community.” In keeping with this commitment, we are listening to and standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of color and taking action to build a better future.
Click here to read the full letter that Holton-Arms' Head of School Susanna A. Jones and Director of Diversity, Wellbeing & Global Education Melissa Brown sent to students.