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We understand the challenges of raising and educating kids in the 21st century. Here are some insights we have picked up along the way.
Reflections by Bill Knauer, Head of School
Life in COVID-19 America is one of extremes, from inspiring highs to debilitating lows, of joy and sadness, of clarity and doubt. This week is no exception, and as much as I tend to focus on the positive and the good, I believe it is also my responsibility to acknowledge the dichotomies that make up our current reality.
This is a time for celebration at Harvey, with the end of academic classes and the upcoming Eighth Grade Moving Up and Senior Commencement ceremonies. And celebrate we will. Next week we’ll share with you photos and highlights from those events, but today I’m going to turn my gaze outward for a moment, to the world beyond our microcosm.
Our upcoming festivities are set against a backdrop of a series of heartbreaking incidents across America that have focused us squarely on issues of race and equality. From the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color to the senseless taking of black lives around the country, recent events are understandably leaving people of color feeling particularly vulnerable and alone.
As a fellow human being, I watch these events unfold and experience a range of emotions, from sadness to disbelief to outrage. As a school leader, I struggle to make sense of the senseless and work to find ways to build a moral fortress against ignorance and hatred. As a white man, I have to accept and understand that I will never truly comprehend what my friends, colleagues, and students of color are feeling right now. But I have a duty to try.
I have to continue to educate myself, reflect, lean into discomfort, learn from my mistakes, ask questions and listen to the answers, and resist the urge to become defensive when I don’t like what I hear. Most importantly, I need to let the people of color in my life know that I am not just a passive supporter but an active ally, that I care about what they are going through and am willing to stand beside them during these most uncertain and challenging times. I pledge to do that now, and I hope everyone in the community will join me.
I invite you to watch members of the Harvey community, under the direction of Harvey Choral Director Mr. Wright, as they performed the moving piece "Resilience." As I listen to it, I am reminded of the abundant resilience I have witnessed around me during these past months and am optimistic and hopeful about the journey that lies ahead. And once again I am filled with deep gratitude to have the privilege of being part of this remarkable place.