Dave Harvey, Director of Academics for Middle and Senior Schools
The alarming and deeply troubling events that continue to unfold in America as a result of the murder of George Floyd are a stark reminder that anti-black racism is not an historical issue relegated to history classes: racism is contemporary and all-too real in countries around the world, including our own.
The topics of race and racism can be difficult to broach with children, even when our values and empathies are fully aligned with equality, diversity and inclusivity. They can be especially uncomfortable during difficult times like the one we are currently experiencing, especially with the preponderance of social media. Our best advice to parents is not to shy away from difficult topics like racism, but rather to create open dialogue and talk through the problems. This article from today’s CBC, provides some guidance to white and black parents about how to talk to children about race and racism.
Those wanting to explore the issue of anti-black racism in greater depth may want to consider some recent resources: How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram K. Kendi or Ijeoma Oluo’s, So You Want to Talk About Race. A more extensive list of resources is located in this Time magazine article from June 2nd.
At CDS, many of our Senior School classes are providing forums for students to ask questions, to express their thoughts, to vent their outrage and disappointment, and to explore important topics like systemic racism, white privilege and unconscious bias. Moreover, our Inclusivity and Social Justice student groups will be reaching out directly to students through Instagram to provide suggestions on how to show support as well as worthwhile resources to consult.
CDS is committed to equity for all. Over the last year, faculty and students have been developing additional initiatives to ensure that our school remains a diverse and inclusive institution where all feel welcome. Although some of the strategies we set in motion this fall have been put on pause due to COVID-19, we will undoubtedly return to this necessary work in September.