A Message from the Head of School Regarding George Floyd Protests

Head of School Ms. English wrote to Archer families on Sunday, May 31, to share her perspective on the George Floyd protests.
Dear Archer Community,

It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who noted that protest is the language of the unheard. What we are witnessing across our nation and our own city at this very moment is the inevitable expression of legitimate pain, grief, and rage at the generations of systemic racism and white supremacy that persist in our country. Disproportionate rates of poverty, disease, incarceration, and, as we witnessed yet again in the homicide of George Floyd, violence against the Black community are a reality we must acknowledge and confront as individuals and as a school community.

The Archer School for Girls stands in solidarity with the Black community against all acts of racism, hatred, and prejudice. Tomorrow, we will extend the conversations that our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Team began on Friday with our student affinity groups. In addition, we offer resources below for your families as you seek greater understanding of racism and its impacts as well as ways to support your children’s response to what they are witnessing. 

As adults, we have the benefit of perspective. We are better equipped than our children to summon hope and see, through cycles of our experience, the opportunity for good to come of this painful time in our nation. When I was a child, the nightly news brought the Vietnam War into my family’s living room each night. I recall my mother’s anguish at the deaths of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. I also recall her saying that it is darkest before the dawn. I believe that. 

The people protesting the systemic racism and white supremacy that led to George Floyd’s death come from all walks of life, all communities, and all races. That gives me hope. The humanity and drive for social justice that our students display give me hope. The words of Willa Frierson from her graduation speech give me hope:
 
We’re in a time of change, and the good news is, the world is listening. At an incredible scale, people are now open to new thinking, new ways of doing... Things are going to change, because they have to. As Archer girls, we’ve all been told that we are leaders. I’ve seen that leadership in classes, in sports games, at marches, and in the ways you treat other people. How lucky the world is to have 2020 branching out, and guiding that change with strength, intelligence, and heart.
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Elizabeth English
Head of School

Resources from School Counselor Jaime MacDonald
Resources from KQED Mind/Shift:
The Archer School for Girls admits students of any race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other legally protected status to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other legally protected status in its hiring or in the administration of its educational policies and programs, admissions policies, financial aid programs or other school-administered programs. SBA Equal Opportunity