Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Helena Garcίa ’12 (she/hers) and I am lucky enough to be serving as Chair of the new Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (JDEI) Alum Advisory Board this year.
In 2020, we witnessed our country and our world reckon with issues long-standing within our social fabric: racism, white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, classism etc. It was in that spirit of justice that I reached out to Mayfield after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. My initial goals were to be heard and to help enact change for my alma mater as I shared the reality of my past experiences with racism during my time as a Mayfield student. When I was given the opportunity to meet with school leadership and administrators it was clear to me that this was a much overdue time for more alums to share their voices and demand change. I reached out to former classmates and peers and received an overwhelming response. Our group of alums continued to engage in these discussions throughout the summer of 2020. Our discussions expanded further after meeting with students and hearing the accounts shared on Dear Mayfield, which evidenced that much of the culture of silence regarding issues of racism and discrimination continue to affect current students at Mayfield. In September, the JDEI Alum Advisory Board was formally introduced.
Our mission as an Advisory Board is to aid Mayfield in its ongoing journey of inclusivity and anti-racism. We support Mayfield leadership, administration, students, and alumni in their efforts to recognize and dismantle systemic oppressions which stand as barriers to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. In collaboration with the school’s leadership and administration, our Advisory Board holds Mayfield accountable for embodying the school’s motto of “Actions Not Words” by embracing continuous learning and growth while amplifying and uplifting Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and other marginalized voices.
Since September, we have held two quarterly meetings and formed our Curriculum, Admissions, Faculty Professional Development, and Student Life subcommittees to continue the work of of creating an inclusive, anti-racist, and just environment at Mayfield.
As an Advisory Board, we recognize how privileged we are to have attended Mayfield. We feel called to action and call on other alums now to use our voices and privilege to help Mayfield grow. As alums, we want to see Mayfield meet the wants of the age and show up for its BIPOC students, LGBTQ+ students, and students with intersecting identities.
Helena Garcίa ’12
Chair, JDEI Alum Advisory Board