June 3, 2020
Dear Pembroke Hill Community,
I write this letter with a heavy heart after witnessing the recent events taking place across the country, specifically the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd along with the subsequent violence during protests in many cities, including our own.
Nearly a year ago, when our family arrived at Pembroke Hill, we were very excited to become Kansas Citians. We still are proud to call Kansas City our home. Because we live just up the street from the Plaza, I have witnessed our community struggle to come to terms with these horrific events while trying desperately to affect change that will ensure a safer and more just world for all, not just those with privilege.
Our school-wide theme this past year, One School. One Community., which seemed so appropriate for us last fall, takes on a heightened sense of importance and urgency. It now defines us by emphasizing the necessity of inclusion and of belonging for all members of our Pembroke Hill family. And I stress all.
Our core values of respect, compassion, scholarship and integrity have never been more important; our intolerance for racism, discrimination, violence and bigotry has never been more imperative. We are called to embody our school’s mission of Together, cultivating the best in each for the benefit of all. We are called to fulfill our promise that every child is known, cared for and valued and to expand that promise to encompass every member of our community including our faculty, staff, parents and alumni.
I know many Black members of our community are hurting. As a family, when one member is in pain, we are all in pain. We must do everything we can to assist them during this difficult time. We are only as strong as the most vulnerable and marginalized in our community, and it is with this knowledge that we will continue in the struggle to end injustice and oppression.
It is essential that we provide one another support right now. We may worry about what to say or not to say, however, conversations and connections are part of the answer. To help start the conversation, especially with our children, our counselors have provided several resources to assist you.
It is my hope that as we confront the issues facing us, we will reveal the best of who we are as Pembroke Hill. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." We will do our part to shorten that arc by promoting and supporting inclusion. We know we can do better; we know we must do better. Our theme for the coming year, Building Together, will be our guiding light.
Join us in the quest to make inclusion, belonging and justice a reality for every member of our community - at Pembroke Hill, in Kansas City and throughout our nation.
If you have any questions, concerns or would simply like to visit, don't hesitate to reach out to any of the principals or to me.