June 2, 2021
Dear Catlin Gabel Community,
What does it mean to be an antiracist school? Beginning to answer this question and planning for changes to help us to realize that vision has been a primary focus of the 2020-21 school year. While work on diversity, equity, and inclusion over the years has been essential to our mission of inspiring courage to take responsible action, , events of last summer and the voices of alumni and community members made it clear that race-based injustice and bias are embedded in our systems, culture, and curriculum at the school, as well as in the society in which we raise our children. We thank those BIPOC and AAPI community members who spoke up about their experiences at Catlin Gabel and helped us to see the need and opportunity we must address.
The antiracist work we committed to this year, and reported on in July and October, ranges from policy and staffing to curriculum, and includes making immediate changes and building a foundation for lasting progress. The Board of Trustees, senior administrators, employees, and cross-constituent work groups have been listening and learning, identifying antiracism goals and action steps, as well as determining related budget and fundraising needs that will be integrated with existing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. This summer, school leadership will develop a strategic equity plan that includes goals, measurements, and accountability and will be shared in the fall. We recognize change needs to happen now; it also needs to be systemic and sustained to achieve our vision.
We invite you to learn more about this year’s work by accessing a detailed summary of 2020-21 Steps Toward Racial Justice at Catlin Gabel. The update includes information on vision and planning, how we are elevating voices, our curriculum work, employee training, and news on community engagement and The CENTER.
Part of our work to make sure the school is more equitable and inclusive is to provide transparency into changes we are making, and invite your feedback and involvement. In addition to updates in divisional newsletters and alumni communications, and at board meetings, student assemblies, PFA gatherings, and employee meetings, we will continue to share with all constituents an annual update each spring with measurable outcomes and progress-to-plan information. We invite you to participate in the many opportunities to share your experience, learn more about this work, and make suggestions.
It is essential that any questions you may have, about how this priority relates to existing school and academic priorities, school environment, and financial plans, be raised candidly and explored together. We seek to ensure that every student feels known and valued, that all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, benefit from the same privileges in our institution, and that we are confident in our educational rationale for change. Our plan and this work need to be shaped, understood, and embraced by all in the Catlin Gabel community. This is the only way that we can move forward, together, with integrity as a kind and inclusive community that puts students first.