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CDS Statement on Antiracism

Thursday, October 8, 2020

As conversations have increased in the past several months about racism, social justice, and police brutality throughout our nation, CDS faculty and staff have realized that we need to be more reflective about racial inequality within our own school community. We recognize that we are part of the predominantly white world of independent schools, a group of institutions which have often excluded or been harmful to people of color. Reinforcing this point, a number of our faculty and staff members of color bravely came forward to share the micro-aggressions which they’ve experienced at CDS. It is our duty to break this cycle and create a community which truly is welcoming and respectful of all.

Over the summer, our faculty and staff members were invited to join affinity groups, where marginalized community members could share their experiences with each other and white employees could examine antiracist theory, engage in self-reflection, and discuss how they could practice antiracism in their personal and professional lives. We will continue to hold these meetings during the school year and have started with a discussion of implicit bias related to race. We have also hired Dr. Manya Whitaker, a consultant who will be working with us on a diversity, equity, and inclusion audit. Finally, members of the Antiracist Task Force composed the following statement on antiracism which heralds a call to action and gave rise to antiracist action plans which we have begun implementing this year:

CDS recognizes that the land upon which we work and play is unceded Ohlone land, forcibly taken by colonists years ago to build Mission Dolores, creating a diaspora of Indigenous peoples. Given current and historical violence against Black communities, CDS is committed to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and to helping our students, families, faculty, and staff feel it. We have taken steps to raise awareness, teach antiracist curriculum, and practice antiracist pedagogy. We can do more and we will do more, with a reignited sense of urgency. We recognize the need to continually interrogate and decolonize our curriculum and reexamine our policies and practices towards building an antiracist ethos at CDS. Through actionable plans, accountability, and support, CDS employees, students, and families are all committed to dismantling racism as co-conspirators in an active practice. We will work to build connections with BIPOC-led businesses and organizations that align with our mission, beliefs, and values. We commit to promoting diverse leadership by actively recruiting and retaining BIPOC candidates through transparent and anti-bias hiring practices and by providing opportunities for professional advancement within our organization. Through ongoing reflection, open conversation, common language, and an authentic approach, we hope to build a more equitable and just future for communities under attack and for all our children. We encourage our community members to think about how we can each be antiracist activists at school and at home.