Dear Governor’s Community,
The current unrest in our country is not simply the result of a handful of recent murders of black men and women at the hands of police or even those that have happened in the last few years, but rather the systemic and institutional racism that perpetuates these and other injustices in our society. We recognize this and fully condemn racism. We want to publicly and emphatically state that at Governor’s we are committed to building an anti-racist school community—one that is actively engaged in opposing racism.
Times like these allow us to reflect on our school’s mission and our responsibility for living up to our core values. With true courage, we must speak up and use our collective actions to bring about the change that our country so desperately needs. We must be upstanders—people who speak up and act in support of what is right—not bystanders— inactive witnesses.
Governor’s is not insulated from the racial injustice that exists in our country. In fact, we know that it exists on campus overtly and in the form of microaggressions. We denounce both. The recent launch of the blackatgovs Instagram account has provided a vehicle for students and alumni to publicly share their painful stories. We are listening. Our goal is to foster an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and anti-racist community that provides the best possible environment for all students to benefit from all that Governor’s has to offer.
In his email on June 2, Dr. Quimby said that now is a time when remaining silent is simply not an option; as a community, we must engage in conversation. Many in our community demand this. In addition, many alumni of color have said that they are exhausted by conversation and want real change through action. We listened. We commit to moving from words to action. We commit to engaging our entire community. We commit to being better tomorrow than we are today.
We have started this work and know that we have much more work to do.
- We completed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) audit under the guidance of an outside consultancy and hired our first Dean of Multicultural Education, a member of the Senior Administrative Team, in 2013.
- We launched a tuition-free academic enrichment summer program (GovsPLUS) for motivated middle school students from Lawrence, Massachusetts--a city whose schools until recently had been placed into receivership by the state. Over 125 students have participated since 2013.
- We prioritized hiring faculty of color. 30% of total hires in the last four years have been people of color.
- We required leadership to participate in implicit bias training.
- We established DEI as a key pillar of our ongoing strategic planning work.
- We established a program to train student facilitators to lead conversations and model anti-racist behavior for their peers.
We are proud of our work to date, but we know it is not enough. We must ensure that all members of our community feel welcome, included, and safe at Governor’s. We will do more.
- We recently created a Board of Trustees DEI Committee to ensure that DEI is a strategic priority in all the work we do. It will be led by Trustee Karen McAlmon P’13.
- We recently developed a White Anti-Racist affinity group for faculty and staff.
- We will conduct a DEI audit of our classes, starting in the English and history departments, and innovate our curriculum to highlight social justice.
- We will add an assessment of anti-racist practices to all faculty and staff annual evaluations.
- We will develop a community orientation program focused on the values of our institution and the expectations of all faculty, staff, and students.
- We will find meaningful opportunities for our alumni of color to connect with our students and faculty of color.
This will not be the work of a few but of our entire community. We are open to other ideas. Please reach out to Dean of Multicultural Education Eddie Carson to share your ideas and stories. We are committed to this work and will provide periodic updates, the first in the fall. Together, we will move Governor’s forward.
James M. Pierce ‘72, P’08
Board of Trustees President
Karen McAlmon, M.D. P’13
Trustee & DEI Committee Chair
Peter H. Quimby, Ph.D. ‘85, P’14
Head of School
Dean of Multicultural Education