I recently spoke to the Middle and Upper School communities about the realities of hate and evil in our world in response to the February murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. I also spoke about the power of beauty and love. Since then, we have watched more deplorable acts of racism and violence take place throughout our country. Racism and acts of violence against black people continue to horrify us, and these forces seek to divide and destroy us, perhaps even more deeply than the destruction caused by the global pandemic we now face.
Joshua Neudel, Head of Upper School; Carl Vallely, Head of Middle School, and Jessica Christian, our Director of Equity and Inclusion, called our Middle and Upper School community together virtually for a morning meeting to address the recent events. They shared powerful messages that both acknowledged the painful reality of what is transpiring, while also reminding students of the power of their voices and actions and of the importance of developing empathy by listening deeply to the stories of others. They reiterated the various support systems and people available to students in our remote environment should they have questions or want to talk. Head of Lower School Emily Miller and our Lower School faculty plan to follow the children’s lead in terms of what they know, what questions they have, and what they feel comfortable discussing, addressing all conversations in developmentally appropriate ways. They continue to encourage students to reach out to the adults they trust in order to talk about their fears and unsettled feelings. As always, we are happy to answer any questions and extend our resources to the Brimmer community at large, as well.
I am writing now to give you hope. It is Brimmer’s collective commitment that racism, bigotry, and hate have no place in our community or in our society and that we deliver an education that will help create a society free of hate. Our mission is to educate every student to be inclusive, to embrace the richness of diversity, and to be informed, engaged, and ethical citizens in our diverse world. Our faculty is charged with upholding Brimmer’s mission. In doing so, they push to provide an education that will empower our students to help create a more just and equitable world.
We recently graduated well-informed young adults who are prepared to do just that with their strong character and keen intellect as they shift to engaging in education at the college of their choice. Knowing that our administration, faculty, and staff work every day to advance the values of being equitable, inclusive, and ethical people encourages me and gives me hope.
As an inclusive community, Brimmer welcomes students who will increase the diversity of our school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or any other characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, in the administration of our educational policies, admissions practices, financial aid decisions, and athletic and other school-administered programs.