On Friday, August 18, 2017, Head of School Karen Cumberbatch sent an email to families and staff as our School community and greater community received updates of the proposed KKK rally in Durham.
The most recent events in Durham and Charlottesville make it imperative that we re-share the public statement provided last fall in response to the KKK rally in North Carolina. It is our sincere hope that people's acts of goodwill, justice, and love will counter those of hate and violence. We hope that this statement of the school's values and commitment to equality and peace, as well as the updated resources noted below, provide some anchoring and guidance in this time of turbulence and uncertainty.
As a school founded on the fundamental Quaker belief that there is the Light of Goodness in every person, Carolina Friends School stands firmly in opposition to acts of hate of any kind. We reject racism, Islamophobia, sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-queer discrimination, and bigotry in all its forms. In response to the powerful messages of hate and intolerance we are witnessing, we want to make clear that we believe in:
- seeking peace with oneself and others
- accepting, respecting and valuing each individual's uniqueness
- creating opportunities to celebrate unity and diversity within our school and in the wider community
- listening deeply, especially when opinions differ
- acting with kindness and compassion
It is through the practice of these beliefs that we teach our children that it is possible to change the world.
As you and your family respond to events happening that come with a message of hate, we wanted to provide some resources we have called on as a school to support us in the work of examining racism individually and institutionally. We have worked with these three organizations for the last few years. All three are local and are all working to educate all people about racism and systems of oppression.
Triangle SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice)
"We are a Triangle NC chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice, a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice."
OAR (Organizing Against Racism)
"Organizing Against Racism is a network of anti-racism groups and activities that are based in or around the triangle"
REI (Racial Equity Institute)
"Is designed to help leaders and organizations who want to proactively understand and address racism, both in their organization and in the community where the organization is working."
Below are some resources that may be helpful as you continue conversations with your children:
Empowering Young People in the Aftermath of Hate A Guide for Educators and Families
Uplifting Families through Healthy Communication about Race
Helping Students Make Sense of News Stories about Bias and Injustice
We offer a generous thank you to parents who shared some of these resources with us.
In Love and Kindness,