Dear Lovett Community:
Recent nationwide events protesting long-standing, systemic injustice and police brutality against members of the Black community demand that all of us address the critical lessons to be learned and make necessary changes. It has also opened up the pain of prior experiences in our community as well. These experiences call on us to expand and re-prioritize our efforts to ensure no one at Lovett endures discrimination. As a school and community, we must acknowledge the fact that our school has not been a safe and welcoming place for all of the students in our charge. Many have left our gates and still walk our hallways feeling like they don’t belong. The Lovett School is committed to doing more.
Meetings this week with Black faculty, staff, Upper & Middle School students, and parents - as well as emails and calls with alumni and others - have been painful but valuable first steps in moving our community forward. Their candor and willingness to share has left me simultaneously humbled, grateful, and dismayed. Nearly without exception, all have expressed their willingness to partner in Lovett’s journey to stand clearly and unabashedly in support of every Black member of our community - past, present, and future.
As an institution, The Lovett School has a painful history with racism that goes back many decades. We do not condone racism or want any member of our community to feel silenced due to their identity. Over the years there have been hurts too numerous to count and actions that must be acknowledged and condemned. Together, we have work to do. Listening, empathizing, and understanding are at the heart of how we at Lovett will evolve.
As many of you are aware, this past fall we began a school-wide strategic design process, working to define our core values and vision for Lovett’s next century as an educational institution. Our efforts of the past year made it very obvious that one of the core values to which we aspire and must hold ourselves accountable is that everyone in our community feels a sense of belonging. We must redouble our efforts to ensure belonging for all of Lovett’s students and develop the structures to hold ourselves accountable to this core value.
With that in mind, I hope you will join me in a virtual platform as we begin to inform the steps we will take to ensure this important value applies to everyone in our community. We have ideas as to actions we intend to take, but we would like to hear from others as to ways Lovett can make positive change in support of our students. Our first two sessions will be this Tuesday, June 9 at 5:00 p.m. or Thursday, June 11 at 12:00 p.m. Please complete this Google form to sign-up for an invitation with login information. We will add additional sessions as needed.
We don’t have all the answers, but we do know that words without action do not drive meaningful change. We will be broken as a community until all members feel that they are equally safe to respectfully express differences of faith, background and thought without fear of being devalued, targeted, ridiculed or suffering retribution.
We look forward to working together to take action to ensure that every child entrusted to us feels valued, heard, and a sense of belonging to The Lovett School.
Head of School