Standing with the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Community
It is with profound sorrow that I write this message. The recent shooting in Atlanta and the sharp rise in violence against Asian Americans is heart-wrenching, unacceptable, and inconsistent with the values of this nation and of Holderness School. We condemn these senseless acts of violence and racism, and we stand in solidarity with the victims of these crimes, the Asian American community, and our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, colleagues, alumni, and community members.
As we process these painful events, I would like all of our AAPI community members to know that you are vital, cherished members of this community and we stand in solidarity with you and your loved ones in this moment of great hurt and distress. On campus, we are reaching out to all our AAPI students and colleagues and trying to understand how this atrocity is impacting them. From the conversations I have had with faculty, staff, and students, I can tell you that this crime has impacted many on a deeply personal level.
This is a time that calls us to translate the words “Pro deo et genere humano” into deeds. For generations, our school’s motto has called us to work for the betterment of humankind and God’s creation; today should be no different. In our strategic plan, which we rewrote just last year, our vision for the future boils down to a single sentence: “Holderness School strives to develop people the world most needs.” The strategic plan also calls us to be “champions of social justice” and asks “How might we promote an awareness, a responsibility, and a willingness to act on global issues and be more empathetic citizens?”
How do we develop people the world most needs? It’s not a simple question, but it’s one we need to try to answer. As we process these recent crimes against the AAPI community - and historical wrongs such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Japanese internment camps of World War II - we know that the status quo of racism and violence against AAPI members of our society must end.
Today, we’re asking ourselves how we can be better - better friends, better teachers, and better allies of the AAPI people in our lives. We are grateful that the Holderness community is a place committed to a culture of inclusivity. Thank you for your continued caretaking and vigilance for our community and one another.
Holderness has had an amazing fall and we have so much to be thankful for – the continued good health of this community, the dedication of the Davis Center, just being able to return to a school year that feels like normal and so much more.
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