Dear LREI Community,
We honor the stories, and the generosity and courage, of the members of the community who have chosen and will choose to share their experiences. While they are hard to read, these experiences were harder to live. We will listen. We will learn. We will act. We will grow as a community. The community members who have shared on this account are truly living up to LREI’s mission’s goal of, “…bringing meaningful change to the world.”
A few days ago, a parent in the school forwarded to me a copy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. In his letter, Dr. King writes about the request of the white clergy that he be patient and that he wait for the right moment. He writes, in part, “There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.”
I am proud of the anti-bias work that many in our community have undertaken over the years. It has changed our school. We are a better community each year. That said, we have much work to do and we must do it at a faster pace. A slower pace asks too much of our Black community members. No longer. A faster rate of growth will require both individual and collective efforts. We owe this to our Black students and families, and we owe it to the community overall. More of the work must be shouldered by white members of the community. We cannot ask our Black community members to lead more than they already do nor to do the work that rightfully belongs to others – a faster pace as we examine who we are, what we offer, how we interact, and what we expect of each other.
This summer, the school’s administrative leadership team will deepen our understanding and create a series of next steps. Our planning will involve input from members of the school’s employee community and from interested students, families, and alumni. As always we will work in partnership with the LREI’s Board of Trustees. We will share our plans as they take shape.
I am available to you throughout the summer. Please do not hesitate to be in touch. An LREI education can be a powerful experience. We must make sure that it is equally so and that all students, all families, all employees, are equally valued, supported, and respected. Thanks to the honesty and integrity of those who shared their stories, we can and will become a better LREI.
Phil Kassen, Director