In an apology letter
sent out to our alums on July 3, we welcomed their feedback. Since then, I have been listening and responding to each and every message. And we’ve also been listening to our students and alums on social media.
Mayfield Senior School loves, supports, and stands with our BIPOC students, alums, faculty, staff and the larger community. We respect the courage of those who have shared their lived experiences with us, and the emotional labor that has gone into those actions. We are also immensely grateful to the BIPOC organizers who have been raising the consciousness of our society as a whole, and helping us to closely examine the systemic racism and injustice that is pervasive in so many sectors of our lives.
Over the last few years, Mayfield has strongly invested in JDEI issues at school, from curriculum to programming to our campus culture. There is clearly much more to do. The work of anti-racism takes a long-term commitment to change and active, intentional unlearning as well. For those who walked through our doors and felt injured instead of nurtured, silenced instead of amplified, please know that we are working hard to live up to our Holy Child Goal 5: “to create a learning climate based on trust and reverence for the dignity and uniqueness of each person.” We are committed to doing better in a meaningful way, so that every Mayfield student feels supported at every step of her journey.
Our current physical distancing has made it harder to do the restorative outreach we would like to be doing, in a room together, emphasizing the very human dimensions of these concerns. While the doors of Mayfield have had to be closed in this pandemic, our hearts remain wide open. And your input will be invaluable to this process, so please consider the ways you might want to participate:
- We’ve been formalizing a Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Alum Advisory Board. We welcome you to join in helping shape our school’s anti-racist policies. We hope the first meeting will take place in August. If you want to be involved in this group, please contact our Director of Alumnae Engagement, Nicole Cosand.
- We’re creating an active archive to preserve letters, statements and notes from students and alums regarding JDEI-related concerns. If you want your story to be included, please use this form. I am personally reading each submission.
- If you are an alum who is interested in participating in a Listening and Accountability session, please contact Director of Communications Lauren Marks ’98.
- If you are a student who is interested in participating in JDEI programming or have JDEI concerns, please contact Co-Directors of JDEI programming, Sarah Briuer Boland or Cassandra Gonzales. Please know that Ms. BB and Ms. Gonzales will be sending a letter out to current students in the coming week with more specific updates and a very important survey that will help us identify the ways we can best support our students.
- The Mayfield JDEI Hotline form remains an online resource for students who wish to anonymously report any incident of racism, bias, or discrimination.
- All are welcome to visit our JDEI web page and see our current initiatives. If you see areas of potential growth within our programming, please contact me or our JDEI Co-Directors with your thoughts.
- If you are a student who is feeling the strains or pressures of this unprecedented moment, whether it be linked to COVID-19, JDEI issues, or something completely unrelated, we remind you that you can reach out to School Counselor Cristina Perez, even when school isn’t in session. Your health and well-being remain our first priority.
If you’d prefer not to reach out through the school, Ms. Perez recommends using:
- Project Return Warmline: (888) 448-9777
- OK2Talk: 1(800) 273-TALK or ok2talk.org
And Ms. Gonzales recommends these Instagram accounts:
We are pleased to announce that our Co-Directors of JDEI, Ms. BB and Ms. Gonzales, are currently participating in SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) leadership training, which will support them in hosting JDEI workshops for faculty and staff throughout the school year. Mayfield is committed to providing ongoing education for faculty and staff on these vital matters, too.
At Mayfield, inclusion is at the very heart of our mission, and we want every student to be able to bring her whole authentic self to school. History is being made around us. While this pandemic reminds us of our frailties, this social justice movement energizes our souls. This period of growth may not be simple or straightforward, and we acknowledge that change must be continuous. There has never been a better opportunity to fully live up to our motto of Actions Not Words.
With Love and Gratitude,