I’m writing today as a follow up to the message that I sent earlier this week about the brutal murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others that revealed the harsh realities of individual and systemic racism experienced by African Americans in our country. These are painful events, and they have elicited a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, and grief. Members of our community are processing them and their aftermath in different ways.
At Greenhill, our diversity is one of our essential strengths. Among the things that unite us is our shared mission to educate our students in mind, body, and character and to nurture and sustain an equitable and inclusive community.
At this pivotal moment, we are called to act courageously, to lean into our discomfort, and to build bridges across differences. Now more than ever before, our core values of honor, respect, and compassion compel us to treat each other with kindness, love, and empathy. Hate, and its ability to divide, has no place in our community.
I am grateful to those of you who sent me feedback after the message I sent on Monday. You rightfully pointed out that Greenhill has work to do when it comes to ensuring that every member of our community feels heard and valued and has the chance to thrive.
I am aware of the conversations taking place on social media among our students, alumni, and other community members. I understand why they are happening and that social media offers a safe space for members of our community to share their experiences and find support. Change only takes place when we extend each other the trust to engage in difficult conversations. I am hopeful that those participating in online dialog are willing to trust me or another administrator or faculty member with their stories. Open conversation with each other will ultimately help make our school and our community stronger. My door is open for those who would like to share their Greenhill experience.
Our administrative team remains committed to strengthening the bonds of our community as well. Over the course of the past year, they have worked closely with the Board of Trustees to create our next strategic plan. An important part of implementing this plan will be expanding our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, policies, and procedures. While DEI has always been a core part of the Greenhill identity and experience, the current climate in our country makes these initiatives crucial to our school's continued success.
Dr. Marcus Ingram will be joining us this summer as our new Director of Equity and Inclusion. In addition, given the importance of DEI work within our community, we made the decision earlier this spring to add an Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion to our team. Monsie Munoz ’05 will be returning to Greenhill this summer in that role. I am confident that they will both be able to listen well, identify challenges, and create change in a meaningful and thoughtful way.
Greenhill School is not perfect. But if each of us can commit to engaging in the hard and necessary work to improve the experience for all, then together we will continue to make progress on fulfilling our mission and emerge as a stronger community.
Lee J. Hark
Head of School