Demand support for #BlackLivesMatter from Asheville School

Demand support for #BlackLivesMatter from Asheville School

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Asheville School Alumni for #BlackLivesMatter started this petition to Asheville School Alumni for #BlackLivesMatter and

Asheville School Alumni Demand Administrative Action 

Out of love for our alma mater, we demand public and explicit condemnation of white supremacy and police brutality. Asheville School’s failure to acknowledge the murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery is an affront to each member of its community, and demonstrates an outright failure to support its black students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Despite the wave of statements of solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement from secondary schools across the nation, Asheville School remained silent, instead announcing the appointment of a Development staff member on June 1. This poorly timed announcement unfortunately replaced any direct acknowledgement of or participation in the collective conversation in which our country is now engaging. 

Asheville School’s silence on current events was only broken to join the #BlackoutTuesday social media trend, without any mention of the Black Lives Matter movement or the recent murders of American black men and women. A group of students from the class of 2016 emailed Dr. Sgro, urging the school to break their silence (our email can be read here), and the Asheville School community members were subsequently directed to a statement by Dr. Sgro void of any action or acknowledgment of the role Asheville School plays as a predominantly white school. Moreover, this statement failed to specify any plans to disrupt the white supremacist framework which inherently informs the operation of all historically and predominantly white institutions. This blatant refusal of responsibility alienates a group essential to the school’s longevity, especially black alumni.

As members of Asheville School’s extended community, we demand a more comprehensive statement that goes beyond virtue signaling to acknowledge the difficult work to come, including specific changes in curriculum or programming the school intends to implement. 

We, the undersigned alumni, demand that Asheville School’s administration and faculty commit to the following: 

  • Openly and plainly acknowledging that Black Lives Matter;
  • Divesting from Asheville Police Department where possible;
  • Matching student, staff, faculty, and alumni donations to anti-racist organizations;
  • Expanding curriculum to include the writings of prominent black writers and theorists into the 21st century;
  • Hiring more faculty members who represent marginalized communities;
  • Requiring professional implicit bias trainings rooted in anti-racist pedagogy, such as coaching through the Equity Literacy Institute in Asheville;
  • Diversifying the Board of Trustees;
  • Instituting an immediate commitment to anti-racism and a long-term commitment to the incorporation of anti-racism into the overall curriculum/culture.

Sincerely,

Ella Doran ‘16

Kirsten Floyd ‘16

Caroline Jordan ‘16

Paul Jordan ‘13

Mac Waters ‘18

Niara Webb ‘16

Annie Winebrenner ‘16


Stand in solidarity with your fellow alumni by signing your name below. 

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