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Affirming our values in trying times

June 1, 2020

Dear CA Community, 

It has been a challenging, painful, and scary week for our country and our community. 

Amid such emotion, it can be hard to find the right words to give hope and comfort. Writing on behalf of Cary Academy, we must try – as now is not the time to sit in silence. 

Recent events, including the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Atatiana Jefferson, and the unnerving incident with Amy Cooper—who made a false accusation against a black birdwatcher in Central Park—have laid bare not only the overt physical danger but also the insidious, systemic racism still facing people of color.

At Cary Academy, we are proud of our words and deeds regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity. We have held workshops on implicit bias. We have welcomed speakers such as Peggy McIntosh to campus to speak on white privilege. Regardless, we must recognize that the private act in the woods of Central Park by a self-proclaimed liberal white woman showed that racism transcends political parties and unearthed more than fault lines within our ability to build trust. It exposed a chasm.   

We recognize that there is much work to be done by white people. Racism in the United States is no less a crisis, no less pressing, and presents no less a threat to our society and our community than the current coronavirus pandemic. And it must be met with the same sense of urgency and thoughtful, proactive response.

Many black people in our community are grieving, fearful, angry, and distrustful. Many do not feel safe. We recognize this fear, pain, and anger. We grieve with you. We are angry alongside you. And, representing Cary Academy’s Leadership Team and Board of Directors, we remain committed to listening, earning and building your trust, and ensuring your safety through ongoing community and anti-racism work.

We will not be silent or cave to hopelessness. Instead, Cary Academy reaffirms our longstanding commitment to the hard, at times uncomfortable, introspective work of diversity, equity, and inclusion that have been core CA values since we first opened our doors. 

  • We pledge to be part of the solution—to prepare our faculty, staff, and students to combat racism and make the positive changes we all want to see in the world.
  • We pledge to listen—to lean into discomfort to grow and learn, and to create a safe space for difficult conversations. 
  • We pledge to look hard within to ensure that every member of our community is empowered to participate fully in the CA experience—to be known, lend their voice, and be heard—and to feel safe and respected while doing so.

As with our COVID-19 response, this will be an ongoing, evolving effort—one that is taking shape now. 

To our families of color: your voices and experiences are valuable and crucial. Yet, we recognize the psychological and emotional toll it can take to share your experiences and concerns. If you are in a place to share them, we want to hear them. We are here for you. 

We look forward to inviting all our members into these conversations as we work together to combat racism and become a stronger community, together. 

Dr. Michael Ehrhardt  
Head of School                                                                 

Manju Karkare
Chair, Board of Directors

Written by Mandy Dailey, Director of Communications

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