Dear Field School Community,
We stand in sorrow and witness with the family of George Floyd, and our nation, to the injustice committed late last week in the death of their father, brother, son. We stand in recognition that this act of injustice is part of a larger pattern of systematic harm to our fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters, growing out of the original sin of the United States — racism. We stand as part of a Charlottesville community with reopened wounds caused by injustice and harm born of racism and its spawn: hate, violence, and intolerance.
We stand to face what we know must be changed. We also know that failing to match actions to rhetoric is to fail to truly face what must be done.
Our mission at Field School calls on us to develop young men of character and accomplishment. Character, and its progeny – honor, integrity, and courage, is required always in a democracy, but especially in times of strife and change rooted in the goal of realizing the promise of America to all. Field School is steadfast in this mission. We execute it with the awareness that developing young men of character and accomplishment requires an absolute commitment to actively supporting our nation’s efforts to confront the legacy and ongoing effects of racism in all its forms to foster change toward an equitable and just tomorrow where all can live and breathe without fear.
The commitment to bringing our mission to life in all we do lies at the heart of our strategic plan, and we will take concrete steps to face our national legacy and contribute to change. These steps include both immediate actions and longer-range planning. We are reviewing our curriculum, starting with our summer readings, to ensure that our educational program aligns with and richly informs our mission. We will also begin work on our strategic planning, with its longer-term focus on developing young men of character and accomplishment and ensuring that Field School models diversity and inclusion throughout our program. We will convene our Parent Council that has been an important part of our work regarding diversity and inclusion to review our progress to date and collaborate on next steps.
We stand and act in the knowledge that we must help create a better tomorrow, and that we are in a unique position to do so through the education we provide to our Field School students.
Finally, we understand that families may be interested in some resources to assist in conversations about issues such as racism, microaggressions and privilege. While we have not had the opportunity to vet all resources identified, the included list may be a good starting point.
In solidarity and peace,
Field School Faculty and Staff
Co-Chair Field School Parent Council
Co-Chair Field School Parent Council
Larissa LPC Sneathern
Chair, Field School Board of Directors
- Talking About Race: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race
- NRP’s What To Say When the News Is Scary: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/24/716704917/when-the-news-is-scary-what-to-say-to-kids
- Helping Youth After Community Trauma: https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/tip-sheet/helping_youth_after_community_trauma_for_educators_final_explosions.pdf
- Books To Teach White Children How To Undo Racism: https://www.charisbooksandmore.com/books-teach-white-children-and-teens-how-undo-racism-and-white-supremacy
For adults, here are some resources:
- Susan Neiman’s latest work, Learning From the Germans – Race and the Memory of Evil, provides a possible model moving forward regarding race relations in the United States by exploring how Germany has come to grips or failed to come to grips with the Holocaust (https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Germans-Race-Memory-Evil/dp/0374184461/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Learning+From+the+Germans+%E2%80%93+Race+and+the+Memory+of+Evil&qid=1591215607&sr=8-1)
- How to Be an Antiracist (https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Antiracist-Ibram-Kendi/dp/0525509283/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2PMA0AKPDRS77&dchild=1&keywords=how+to+be+an+antiracist+by+ibram+x.+kendi&qid=1591193238&sprefix=how+to+be+an+%2Caps%2C179&sr=8-1)
- So You Want To Talk About Race (https://www.amazon.com/You-Want-Talk-About-Race/dp/1580058825/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1DYUS04FV6K8H&dchild=1&keywords=so+you+want+to+talk+about+race&qid=1591193291&sprefix=So+you+%2Caps%2C-1&sr=8-1)
- White Fragility (https://www.amazon.com/White-Fragility-People-About-Racism/dp/0807047414/ref=sr_1_1?crid=34PIX13TCCA0K&dchild=1&keywords=white+fragility&qid=1591193339&sprefix=White+F%2Caps%2C151&sr=8-1)