Minds Bent Towards Justice

Late summer greetings from the campus that never sleeps! Most seniors just finished the excellent College Application Summer Intensive, the best antidote I know to college-application anxiety. 
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear several Campbell Scholars - bright college aspirants from Title 1 public and charter schools in the Valley - speak with visiting parents, educators, and foundation representatives about their experiences in our program. Their intelligent and courageous voices are always so inspiring. If you are not familiar with what we do in the Campbell Scholars Program, read about it and watch these videos to learn more. Too many people in our school tell me they are surprised, once they learn about the program, that they didn’t know more sooner. Let’s all help get the word out. There are also ways for our high school students to participate in the program, such as serving as mentors and tutors, during the school year. 

The Scholars tend to speak glowingly about the welcoming and inclusive nature of the Campbell Hall community. In contrast, during the Inclusion Institute in June, a forum in which faculty and staff engage more deeply in discussions about various diversity topics, we heard from several Campbell Hall alumni about times when they were teased, harassed, and misunderstood for being different. We should not be surprised that young people can sometimes be cruel to each other, even in our idealistic little village. I trust we are all passionately committed to doing what we can every day to make Campbell Hall the most inclusive and supportive school we can be - because it’s the right thing both morally and academically.

I thought of those two presentations - from Campbell Scholars in July and CH alumni at the Inclusion Institute in June - when I read the raw headline in the Los Angeles Times following the shooting in El Paso: Latinos fear new depths of hatred. There are clearly forces in our world working against the Campbell Hall mission of diversity and inclusion, and against Dr. King’s vision of America becoming the “beloved community.” Those working for justice and equity have always found resistance to their efforts.

I’m sure you have already found age-appropriate ways to discuss the summer’s headlines with your children (see this excellent resource). Such conversations support the school’s mission and clear message that hateful, racist, or religiously intolerant language is not acceptable and leads to disciplinary consequences. Campbell Hall values the diversity of the human experience and we will never stop advocating and fighting for equity within and beyond our gates; we continue our work this year on the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan which directly supports the goals outlined in the school’s Strategic Plan. beginning with Dr. Howard Stevenson’s all-day workshop with all faculty and staff on August 22. 

CH Valedictorian Sophie Craig ‘19 included this line in her speech at Graduation in June: “I believe that if you all have love in your hearts and a mind bent toward honesty and justice, you can help stabilize our beautifully diverse human reality.” Let’s take Sophie’s words to heart as we look hopefully to another school year: with love in our hearts and minds bent towards honesty and justice, all good things are possible. I wish you all peaceful last weeks of summer and a smooth start to the school year.


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