White Stone Ridge Alumnae Letter of Solidarity with Black Alumnae

White Stone Ridge Alumnae Letter of Solidarity with Black Alumnae

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Bridgette Auger started this petition to Chair of the Board of Trustees of Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart Ms. Kristen J. Hohman

We are deeply saddened to read the appalling accounts of racism written by Black students and alumnae of our beloved Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. We value Stone Ridge for its warm community, and are grateful for the virtues it instilled in us: faith, intellect, community, social action, and personal growth.

However, we feel the school must acknowledge that it has also caused great harm.

As white alumnae of Stone Ridge, we are also becoming aware of the power of our privilege and how ubiquitous white supremacy is in our society. We know there can be no quick fixes, and that the process will be an ongoing one. Yet truly fulfilling the goal of Stone Ridge to create an atmosphere of wise freedom cannot be done by ignoring the ugliness of our past — and our present.

Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with the Black alumnae. We believe that dismantling systemic racism requires us to center Black voices and follow their lead. We ask that you do the same and work to fulfill their demands.

Demands copied with permission from Stone Ridge Black Alumnae Letter dated July 1st, 2020:

1) We believe that every Stone Ridge girl regardless of race, income, and ZIP code should be afforded a high-quality, anti-racist education and experience that promotes DEI in all aspects of their learning, growth, and development.

2) We believe that the well-being of Black girls at Stone Ridge must be at the forefront of every conversation. Centering the experiences of Black girls is vital in helping Stone Ridge tackle issues related not only to race, but also ethnicity, class, gender, sex, religion, and politics.

3) We believe that attracting, recruiting, and retaining Black faculty must be a priority and strategic goal each year. A diverse faculty is foundational in creating sustainable change in the classroom, school culture, and beyond. Moreover, the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion needs to sit on the Administrative Team.

4) We believe that Black Stone Ridge girls deserve better. Black Stone Ridge girls deserve educators committed to Black children and their brilliance. Black Stone Ridge girls deserve teachers and an administration who recognize that anti-racist agendas and practices benefit all children. Black Stone Ridge girls deserve what should be afforded to all children: protection and nurturing.

5) We are compelled to ask for Ms. Karrels’ resignation. We believe that there is a critical need for Stone Ridge to launch a nation-wide search for a new Head of School with a proven track-record of creating positive cultural shifts within educational institutions and promoting, advancing and implementing DEI initiatives. We also must demand that Stone Ridge engage the support of a third-party consultant company specializing in DEI consulting within the independent school realm. This firm must be able to conduct an objective and transparent audit of Stone Ridge’s current DEI practices and to offer actionable steps toward creating sustainable and quantifiable change.

We have great faith that Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart can acknowledge and heal these wounds, face the challenge of dismantling systems of harm, and be a beacon for inclusive education. We are aware that as individuals we too need to take on this work to examine our part in systemic racism, come to better understand our white privilege, and promote an anti-racist culture. Let’s do this work together.

The Black students and alumnae should not be the ones educating us on how to be anti-racist. Stone Ridge should be leading the education of Board members, staff, alumni, and students on how to be anti-racist. Please do the work to provide a diverse, equitable and safe space for Black, Indigenous, People of Color and white students alike. This work needs to be built into the curriculum and fabric of the institution. Make the Sacred Heart of Stone Ridge worthy of its name and good intention.

(Please sign with your graduate year, maiden name if applicable or relationship to SR Alumnae)

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