Living Our Mission in the Face of Injustice

In seeing "that of God in everyone," we are called to honor the life and mourn the tragic death of George Floyd, Breoanna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery in recent weeks. We also remember those whose lives were lost in the months and years leading up to the events unfolding today: Philandro Castile, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin. These names have become a cry for justice on behalf of many other individuals whose lives have been cut short. For those of us raising children of color, those individuals are always and precisely that: someone's child. While recent months have left us all reeling in the face of so much uncertainty, I know this much remains true: despite the ever-growing divisions in this country, parents everywhere are united by our most profound, shared fear that our children will not return home to us safely.

As I watch my neighborhood, the whole city, and communities around the country explode in anger and dissent, I'm painfully reminded of the urgency of our work as a Quaker school, as well as the challenges of doing that work from a distance. The thought of talking to children about what's happening in our world right now via Zoom brings tears to my eyes; yet, I also immediately realize how small this challenge is when faced with the enormity of the history of injustice we must teach another generation of students. We have no choice but to live our mission: to help children find their voice, speak their truth, and use it for good.

Please join me in holding all who are grieving in the Light. Please join me in speaking out in protest against a pattern that must be broken. Please know that I speak for all of us at Friends School Haverford when I say that we are with you--as Quaker educators, as parents, as fellow citizens--in our commitment to what is just and right and kind. There is no other way.

In solidarity,
Liza Ewen
Acting Head of School