Dear Miriam Community,
This has been a very difficult time for our nation as we process not only the recent death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, but also the killing of many other unarmed Black people over time. As an organization, Miriam believes it is vital to take a stand against this systemic violence and ongoing oppression.
We must determine what we as a community can do to help. It is Miriam’s mission to support vulnerable populations, and in a way, the Miriam community is well positioned to understand feelings of difference. But the systemic marginalization felt by the Black community is something that is difficult to comprehend if you are not living it. We are still learning, and we encourage you to learn with us.
How will we respond? First, we are listening. We are allies. We hope our Miriam community will join us in educating ourselves and in playing an active role in understanding the realities of racism in our nation. We encourage our non-Black community members to seek out resources (including those we will share via social media in the coming days and weeks) to learn more about the history of systemic racism and white supremacy in the United States. We will ask our Black students, staff members, and families how they are doing and how we can help. If they are willing to share, we’ll ask how they are affected by the recent occurrences, what support they need, and what they would like to see happen – not just now but in the future.
In an effort to better understand the work that needs to be done in our community, Miriam established a Diversity Committee in January. This committee is made up of Miriam parents, students, board members, teachers, and staff from all parts of our organization. We are meeting monthly to develop a plan on how Miriam policies and procedures, hiring practices, volunteer recruitment, and curriculum development can better promote equity, diversity and inclusion. As part of this process, we will be requesting your feedback. We are preparing a survey to go out to the Miriam community and hope everyone will take time to give the questions some serious thought and to respond. This is too important to ignore.
We at Miriam are committed to empowering ALL unique learners, and in order to do that we must be willing to help improve the community in which we live. Perhaps a recent Miriam graduate said it best: “The most valuable thing I’ve learned from attending Miriam is to treat people with respect and dignity, no matter who he or she is.” Each of us has the ability to contribute to positive change. Let’s work together.
Miriam Board President
Miriam Executive Director
Head of School, Miriam School
Head of School, Miriam Academy
Director, Miriam Learning Center
Chair, Miriam Diversity Committee