Like many others, my emotions are turned up loud in response to the brutal, racist murder of George Floyd. The horror of this killing revolts and angers me.
I know atrocities like those acted upon George Floyd happen frequently. I question if I have really done enough to challenge racist systems and beliefs in the world, to demand justice.
I fear we have stopped seeing in each other the potential for community, love and grace, and instead just see otherness.
But feelings can, and often should, be a call to action. I need to do better. This year, Villiers will begin implementing inclusive curricula and pedagogy, as well as systems for ensuring greater diversity through our staff recruitment and retention processes. Our Board is also taking steps to increase BAME representation, as well as actively seeking trustees from other underrepresented groups. Our staff and trustees will receive unconscious bias training and consciously question the inclusiveness of what we do. I am committed to making these changes this year.
In the face of persistent racism, discrimination and violence, I want to say to everyone: have the courage to keep seeing it, even when it revolts you; to keep remembering the names of the victims, so their families don’t carry the load of grief and injustice alone; and to keep being an agent for change. Because change is long overdue and we all need to play our parts in making it happen.