- The Center
The following statement on current events was sent to the Lincoln community earlier this week from Head of School Sophie Glenn Lau ’88.
Dear Lincoln Community,
I write to you today with a heavy heart. It is devastating that so soon after issuing a statement on the racially motivated violence against the APIDA community, we find ourselves again confronting news of a fatal police shooting in Minneapolis and newly released bodycam footage in the Adam Toledo case. And now, even as the country reels from a year of tragedy after tragedy, we prepare for a verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin and the questions it may prompt from our students. I have heard from many community members that the impact of the unrelenting news cycle—particularly for our BIPOC friends—is deep and pervasive.
Throughout this academic year, I have received valuable feedback on how Lincoln School responds to national events that violate our anti-racist principles and cause harm to members of our community. While people's communications preferences are individual, some themes stand out.
- Official statements condemning violence against historically oppressed people make a material difference in the sense of belonging and emotional safety for people who identify as part of that community.
- Official statements without meaningful action can do more harm than good.
- Transparency and authenticity are of utmost importance to the Lincoln community.
The process of becoming, to borrow a phrase from philosophy, can be daunting at times, but Lincoln’s process of becoming in the practice of our anti-racist principles demands that we not only acknowledge the contradictions and challenges but that we do not allow them to sway us from our path. As a Quaker school, the work of anti-racism is mission-driven and central to Lincoln’s commitment to educating girls to embrace the opportunities and responsibilities of full citizenship in a complex world.
Above all, our focus is on supporting our students and supporting the faculty and staff who work with them every day. Knowing that, our goal is to respond with care and deliberation, grounded in authentic action rather than speed. And while we cannot respond to every instance of injustice as it happens, we are ever mindful of current events and their impact on our students and community at large.
In addition to the high-level strategic planning of the Anti-Racist Task Force and ongoing analysis of the data we collected from the Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism, we are working to identify immediate needs within the community and developing the activities and resources to meet those needs.
As we consider the next several weeks and plan for community needs, we will be using a framework we are calling CARE:
This model is designed intentionally so each branch can be individualized to the developmental needs of students across divisions as well as faculty and staff. CARE is also structured to allow for the flexibility to be proactive, when possible, and nimble when necessary.
Next Wednesday, April 21, we will be holding our first in-school event using this framework, focusing on providing context for the upcoming verdict and time for reflection and self-care.
We are working on additional details for this event as well as our plans for supporting students, faculty, and staff on the day the Chauvin verdict is returned.
I thank you for your ongoing partnership in this important work.
Sophie Glenn Lau ’88
Head of School