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Honoring Differences: A Letter to the Community from the Board of Trustees

June 30, 2020

Dear Belmont Day Community,

The protests across our country in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement are prompting important, challenging conversations within our families and our communities. You heard from Brendan Largay and Carlos Hoyt regarding Belmont Day’s response to these events, and they provided age-appropriate opportunities and resources for discussion in school and at home. These conversations are critical.

The board of trustees is dedicated to Belmont Day’s mission to “honor differences…with excellence, respect, honesty, responsibility, caring, and joy” within our community. In order to achieve that mission, the board is committed to engaging with, supporting, and amplifying the voices of those leading diversity, equity, and inclusion work in our community. Alongside Brendan, Carlos, and the BDS faculty, the board is also committed to listening to all members of our community and to learning how Belmont Day can become more equitable and inclusive.

We commend the work being done at our school to raise awareness of issues, increase self-awareness, establish a common fund of knowledge and skills, and empower meaningful action within and across faculty, students, and parent constituencies.  We recognize that the board must also help to advance this work. We’re grateful to have the leadership of Carlos, Brendan, and Sharra Owens-Schwartz P ’25, trustee and chair of the board’s diversity committee, to guide our work.

The work to combat racism has no clear end date, and the necessity of doing that work, every day, has never been clearer. We write today to affirm the board’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and our support of Brendan, Carlos, and the BDS faculty in their efforts to provide our children with the tools to navigate the topics of race in the classroom and beyond.

We are all experiencing a range of emotions at present, as we grapple with violent reminders of systemic racism and the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, juxtaposed with joyful end-of-school milestones that culminated in last Friday’s graduation ceremony. We are steadfast in confronting these challenges.

With best wishes for a healthy, restorative summer,

Jill Finnerty ’84, P ’17 ’20
President   

Tom Hancock P ’09 ’26
Vice President

Sharra Owens-Schwartz P ’25
Chair, Diversity Committee 

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