Holderness School

Courageous Conversations: Author, Priest leads Anti-Racism Chapel for MLK Observance.

Greg Kwasnik
Changing the status quo can be an uncomfortable task – especially if you benefit from it. That was the message to students from the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day speaker and the white author of Seeing My Skin, a personal examination of the role of whiteness in his own life.
“As long as we’re content being comfortable, we will be supporting the status quo,” Jarrett-Schell told students during his chapel talk on Tuesday. “It is only by encountering deep discomfort that we can shift the way things work.”
 
Asking uncomfortable questions about issues of race and white privilege is one of the central themes of Seeing My Skin. In it, Jarrett-Schell offers important perspectives from his marriage to a black woman and his tenure as the first white rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, an historic black congregation in Washington, D.C. During his speech and in classroom visits this week, Jarrett-Schell challenged students and faculty – the majority of whom are white – to ask themselves tough questions about how they benefit from white privilege, and what responsibility they bear in creating a more equitable society for people of color.    
 
Those are the kind of difficult questions the Holderness community might be asking itself, says Rev. Joshua Hill, the school’s chaplain. Hill says he came to this conclusion last year during a school visit by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., director of the White Privilege Conference and founder of the Privilege Institute. During that visit, Hill asked Moore - who is black and runs workshops on leadership, diversity, and privilege – what seemed like a simple question: “Who are the black voices we should be paying close attention to?” Moore’s answer – essentially that white people need to discuss white privilege among themselves more than they need to talk to black people about it – was a wakeup call to Hill.
 
“His point was that majority white communities might actually make more progress toward reconciliation by talking about whiteness than they can make by asking a person of color to come talk about their experience,” Hill said. After reading Seeing My Skin, Hill knew he needed to invite Jarrett-Schell to Holderness. “Peter's book is a powerful example of this type of reflective work.” 
 
During his chapel talk, Jarrett-Schell spoke about how important it is for members of a majority-white community like Holderness to ask tough questions about their own white identity, and how they benefit from white privilege. Echoing the school’s motto, “For God and Humankind,” Jarrett-Schell asked students if they were willing to endure long-term discomfort to create a more just world for people of all races and ethnicities. “We’re all human beings made in the image of God with God’s spirit within us,” Jarrett-Schell said. “That is who we are. If we build our identity on anything other than that, we are dooming ourselves to failure.” 
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    Andrew Herring
    Elections are kind of a big deal in New Hampshire.  The Granite State treasures its first-in-the-nation primary status just as much as it loves its pristine lakes and mountains.  It’s a privilege to catalyze any presidential race, and New Hampshire goes all out. Our roadsides are littered with campaign signs, our televisions are clogged with advertisements.  Stand outside long enough, and you’re bound to be greeted by an overzealous canvasser or candidate doing their best to convince you to mark their name on your ballot. 
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  • Big Mountain: The Future of Competitive Skiing and Snowboarding

    Greg Kwasnik
    Slalom gates, halfpipes, and terrain parks are where Holderness School athletes have traditionally excelled. But for an increasing number of Holderness athletes, the school’s new Big Mountain program is the future of competitive skiing and snowboarding.
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  • Courageous Conversations: Author, Priest leads Anti-Racism Chapel for MLK Observance.

    Greg Kwasnik
    Changing the status quo can be an uncomfortable task – especially if you benefit from it. That was the message to students from the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day speaker and the white author of Seeing My Skin, a personal examination of the role of whiteness in his own life.
    Read More
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Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness, NH 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257