Dear JFK Staff and Families:
The last half of this school year has brought many challenges that we have had to overcome. Now our nation is faced with another tragedy that ultimately stems from a much larger issue of systemic and institutional racism. Our community is hurting, our community is angry, and our community is in need of support.
We’ve seen throughout this school year that our students are champions of change, advocates of their passions, and challengers of inequity. This painful situation is a reminder that change starts with us. As Kennedy is a school that aims to instill values of respect and inclusion in our students, we felt that this is something we must speak about. This is an important conversation to have because it affects our students, staff, and the community as a whole.
We pride ourselves on celebrating diversity and acceptance, but it is abundantly obvious that there is still much work to do. It is vital to be compassionate, to show grace, and to continually educate ourselves. We strive to give our students the tools necessary to be a part of a movement that will make this world a better place.
This summer break will look different for everyone, but we want to encourage our entire community to take a moment and carefully review the materials contained in the following links:
- Community Mental Health Resources
- Know Your Civil Rights (ACLU)
- How To Talk To Your Kids About Race
- Anti-Racism Resources
In Michelle Obama’s words, “race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us – Black, White, everyone – no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to the life experiences and stories of those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.”
Please reach out to the ones you care for and extend a helping hand, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. Additionally, please reach out to me, if you would like to strategize ways to address racial and social inequities in the Commander Community. It is now truer than ever that We are Stronger Together.
With Love and Gratitude,