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President Huang Speaks Out Against Racial Injustice
Posted 06/01/2020 01:00PM

Jefferson Huang, Ph.D., president of The St. Paul's Schools, shared the following messages with members of The St. Paul's Schools community.

June 13, 2020

Dear Members of The St. Paul's Schools Community,


Over the last two weeks, we have engaged in a series of forums with employees, students, parents, and alumni to process the tragic killings of George Floyd and other members of the Black community and to discuss the racial inequality that is still pervasive in America. We want to thank all those who participated in these conversations—who voiced their sadness and outrage, who listened to learn, and who spoke with great conviction about the need for change—change that must begin within our own school community. Thank you for being courageous and for speaking your truth. 


To the Black members of our community, your lives matter. What has emerged from the forums is a clear call to action, and we write today to provide details on how we are moving forward. We, the leaders of The St. Paul's Schools, recognize that real, enduring social change will only be possible when each of us—as individuals and individual institutions—commits to becoming better. It is not enough to say we reject racism and bigotry in all forms. We must act with purpose to ensure that St. Paul's truly is an inclusive and respectful climate for all and to eradicate prejudice and the marginalization of any students on our campus.


To fully achieve our shared vision requires ongoing reflection and intentional planning. Based on our own self-studies and the comments we heard in the forums, this work falls into the following main categories. 

  • Above all, we must foster a culture where each student can be his or her authentic self and feel safe, loved, and appreciated.
  • We are committed to evaluating our curriculum to ensure that all students see themselves reflected. 
  • We will continue to invest in professional learning for our faculty and staff to help develop cultural competencies and an equity mindset. 
  • It is critical that we strengthen our hiring practices so that our administrators, faculty, and staff come from more diverse backgrounds and our students see adults who "look like them." 
  • Finally, we know that open dialogue builds understanding and that we must continue these community conversations and hold ourselves accountable for progress

We want you to know this work will persist, even when the headlines and protests quiet down and our national attention shifts to other issues. Our next series of community forums will be held in mid-August, and we will provide additional details this summer. We also will begin outlining concrete action items for the five areas of focus listed above—work that will inform our next strategic plan.


As Episcopal schools, we are grounded in our mission to educate hearts and minds in an inclusive community. Service and justice are two pillars of the Episcopal faith, and we are grateful to all of you who are doing the hard work of building a better future and a more just and peaceful world.  


Alternate text

Jefferson Huang, Ph.D.
President, The St. Paul's Schools


May 31, 2020

Dear Families,

With the recent killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, our country is confronted with another senseless loss of life. Coupled with other events that have been in the media, it is distressing and unacceptable that, in 2020 America, we are still witnessing such acts of violence and discrimination across our country. These acts disproportionately affect the families of color in our communities, causing pain and anxiety, and I write today to express that we care about you and are here for you. 
At times like this, our job as educators is to reflect on what we can do to make our communities and our society more just and equitable. A diverse and inclusive climate is essential to who we are and what we stand for as an Episcopal school. In this difficult time, we are ever more resolute in our purpose and mission to develop the hearts and minds of our students. We continue to focus on building a community of young people who respect and value each other's differences, who actively listen to one another's lived experiences, who challenge injustice where they see it, and who are determined to serve as a force for good in the world.
Complex systemic problems do not have easy solutions, but we believe the work begins with education and with making space to listen and engage in honest dialogue. So we write today to share some resources. First, our school counselors, chaplains, and inclusivity directors are excellent supports and sources of information. They are working together to schedule open forums for members of our community to come together to share and learn and will provide more information in the next few days. In the meantime, you and your children are welcome to reach out to any of them for one-on-one support or conversation.
Also, we invite you to consider using the summer as an opportunity to speak with your children about national and world events. Consider reviewing a news feature entitled "Why All Parents Should Talk With Their Kids About Social Identity" from NPR and the Sesame Workshop, the researchers behind Sesame Street. This episode discusses the importance of talking about race and other social categories with kids and provides parents with some helpful strategies. In addition, you can initiate these difficult conversations by finding age-appropriate books and reading them together. A reading list like this one provided by Embrace Race offers an opportunity to stimulate your child's understanding and develop empathy.
Education is a solution. Respect and inclusivity are values worth protecting. It is vitally important that we work toward a safer and more just world for our children.
Jefferson Huang, Ph.D.
President, The St. Paul's Schools

11232 Falls Road
P.O. Box 8000
Brooklandville, Maryland 21022
TEL: 410-823-6323
SECURITY: 443-862-2294
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