Madeira does not tolerate racism and stands in solidarity with all students of color against any acts of racism, prejudice, bigotry, or hatred.
It is heartbreaking to see racially-motivated violence in what should be a time when the whole country stands together as one. I am devastated for the victims, for our Madeira community, for our country, and most especially for people of color everywhere in this nation, by the racial violence against the Black community. I struggle to find the words to adequately convey the pain, the sadness, the hopelessness, and the fear that so many are feeling right now, but I also know that in times like these silence can be deafening. The systemic violence against the Black community is a reality we must acknowledge and confront as individuals and as a School community.
While not perfect, within the Madeira community, we see progress in civil discourse and in acceptance and embracing of differences. We see our girls’ advocacy for social change every day. The humanity and drive for social justice that Madeira girls display gives me hope. Our core values include “awareness of self and others,” we educate all 9th graders about implicit bias, and we equip girls to go out into the world and be part of the change. Our student heads of Diversity and Inclusion reached out to the entire community last week, students and adults, expressing their feelings about the recent tragic events involving police brutality. As they shared, “I want to start by acknowledging the black students at Madeira. You are not alone. We see you.” They shared information about becoming an ally and resources for taking action. Our school counselors, Madeira adults, and I reiterated the importance of reaching out for support at this time when we need each other. We need connection and to be heard, understood, and validated, especially when traumatic events occur and when our lives feel chaotic and out of our control.
The strength of the Madeira community is a cornerstone of our School. When any of us hurts, we all hurt. We grieve together. In times like these, I am grateful that within our small community at Madeira, our girls and adults are caring and compassionate; and at the same time I wonder if our caring and compassion can reassure our African American students that we are a safe and inclusive space for them. Please know that I and others in this community have a responsibility and are committed to learning how to be a better allies. Our community will stand together. While we are separated by physical distance, that will not deter us from supporting one another.
We must together, those of us who have the power and privilege to address inequalities of historically marginalized populations, commit through peaceful means to finding a way forward together toward a more just society. Please stay safe and well, check in on one another, and extend grace to one another. Please care for each other and know that there are many who are eager to support you.
Pilar Cabeza de Vaca