Dear Aquinas Community,
Aquinas High School condemns racism and the systematic oppression of Black people in all its forms. We believe Black Lives Matter, and we commit to be part of the much-needed change in this country.
Throughout its history, Aquinas has prepared young women from The Bronx and surrounding neighborhoods regardless of race and ethnicity for a lifetime of faith, learning, and compassionate action for a more just world. To continue this mission today as a beautifully diverse community serving mainly Black and Latina women, we at Aquinas must intentionally become an anti-racist School community, and we commit to continual institutional improvement.
We are heartbroken and angered by the senseless, tragic death of George Floyd and the many others like him. As a School community, we have observed and learned about racism, whereas for many of our students and their families it is a daily lived experience. We have received communications from alumnae, students, and friends sharing how “white fragility” and “white privilege” continue to be contributing factors in not attaining justice and equality for people of color in our country. We promise to do more, to better educate ourselves and to help educate others in the elimination of white supremacy and systematic racism in our community.
While true change is a process and requires time, we, the faculty, staff and Board are listening and learning, and we are committed to take action.
We pledge to:
Educate ourselves as a community, to seek out anti-bias resources and to train our faculty, staff and Board with anti-racism education.
Design and implement an anti-bias, anti-racism curriculum that centers around the lived experiences of the student body we serve.
Provide an environment of healing, care and support for our families and listen to concerns as well as form a representative school committee to address issues of bias and racism.
Commit to our faculty and staff more fully reflecting the diversity of our community.
There is a great deal of work to be done and we look forward to a partnership among the school, students, families, alumnae and all stakeholders. To that end, we, the Aquinas faculty, staff and Board invite you to share your views and discuss solutions.
Mark A. Shultz