Protect Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice at Sewickley Academy

Protect Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice at Sewickley Academy

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Sewickley Academy Alumni, Friends and Supporters started this petition to Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy's enduring legacy is pillared by its values - character, educational vigor, diversity, and community. These principles, coupled with academic vigor, allow students to achieve their full potential through the engagement of "mind, hearts, and hands."  

But the Academy community is fractured, its missions jeopardized, and reputation tarnished because of school leadership's abrupt decisions and unilateral actions. They include the dismissal of a Head of School who spearheaded Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (DEISJ) work, termination of five (5) experienced administrators and one (1) faculty member that served as DEISJ practitioners and stalling on the implementation of the Strategic plan Envision 2024.  

Therefore, we are asking for the following actions to be taken immediately: 

  1. A third-party examination of the dismissal of the Head of School and team of administrators. 
    A replacement of the Board of Trustees vacancies (created due to protest resignations of two African American members) with trustees of color and maintaining at least one trustee of color on the Executive Committee. 
  2. A replacement of the current interim Head of School (Ashley Birtwell) with a more seasoned interim Head. 
  3. Assurances that a new interim Head of School will consider faculty input in hiring to fill vacancies resulting from the July firings.
  4. Accountability from the newly reconstituted Board that ​the Board selects a search committee that includes people of color and a search firm that has experience bringing a diverse pool of candidates to schools. 

These actions will start the healing of unnecessary fractures created, the restoration of the Academy’s legacy, and a return to the academic vigor of its curriculum and safety of its students, faculty, and staff.  

Thank you.  

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