Message from GPS Board Chair Dr. Rebecca E. Stimson '73
A message from GPS Board Chair Dr. Rebecca E. Stimson '73
Dear GPS Community,
This has been an extremely painful week, and I share your grief and outrage. I have heard directly from some of you and indirectly through social media from many more. Thank you for sharing your stories and experiences.
In the midst of the social isolation and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic, we find ourselves immersed in the all too familiar story of violence against black people—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, are the most recent examples. Racism is not acceptable in our country, in our communities, or in our school. I can only hope that the events of the past week signal a true turning point where we, as a country, can finally say enough is enough, and where we, as individuals, take seriously the work to educate ourselves.
As part of a learning community that values inclusivity—all voices being heard—we can prioritize educating ourselves through reading, listening, and open dialogue. I do not pretend to have the answers. I do recognize that I wear the blinders of white privilege, but I can listen and read and learn. I can work to become part of the solution.
I love GPS and the values it espouses. I am a proud alumna and a sister, daughter, and mother of GPS alumnae. I am committed to keeping this discussion alive and using your voices to move our school forward. Racism must be countered by education and a strong conviction in the value of each individual.
We plan to begin this education by providing a forum for listening to your experiences as GPS students and alumnae. Please know that details will be forthcoming as we plan for the following:
Town hall meetings in June that allow you to share your story and to be heard by trustees, administrators, and teachers.
A place for alumnae and current students to write their stories, if they prefer to not speak out loud.
Planning to be done over the summer to begin a dialogue with students, teachers, parents, and alumnae that will lead to program enhancements as it relates to black girls and employees and their sense of belonging at GPS.
Know that the Board of Trustees and I recognize the persistence of racism that exists in our country. We are ready to listen and lead and be part of the solution. I hope you can join us.