In Support of Our Colleagues, Students, Alumni and Families of Color

Dear Members of the Parker Community,
I have been thinking about our Parker colleagues, students, alumni and families of color, especially, in light of recent events, our African American community members, and the painful place they and our nation and city continue to be in. I have been feeling restless with anger and sadness, and worry for people I know and people I don’t know. I wish we could be with one another in school now. Instead, I offer these thoughts to express my support and extend the support of the school to our community members of color:
  • Crisis reveals the truth of what has long been present, and the pandemic has made it even more clear that the violence of institutionalized anti-black racism and the impact of systemic inequities of access to employment, food, health care, housing, education and justice, all deeply rooted in the origins of our nation, continue to threaten the lives of people of color in glaring and disproportionate ways.

  • We may be physically distant from one another right now as a community, but Parker is not distant from its anti-racist commitment to support our colleagues and students of color. Along with the school, I stand in alliance and solidarity against racism and the aggression of white supremacy. Our very purpose is to educate young people to be empathic, courageous citizens and leaders who know how and why to confront racial hatred with clarity of purpose and conviction. We teach our students that protest is a vital democratic practice. We encourage self-inquiry about race and privilege as a life-long learning responsibility for white Americans to pursue in order to take action to end systems of racism.

  • We are living in a time of great hurt and loss. Helping one another find ways to heal and grieve through the support of community bonds is essential. Coping with the ongoing disruptive changes to daily life brought on by the pandemic is part of it. Coping with the ever-destructive and unchanging continuity of systemic racism is another.

  • Members of our community may be experiencing the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and the aftermath of events this past weekend, in different ways. For my colleagues of color, should you need to take time-off today or later during the week to take care of yourself, please let your division head know so they can make the necessary arrangements. Should any colleague or parent know of a student of color who needs immediate support, please let your division head know as well.
This morning, I will confer with others to organize additional support and resources. Our strength is our commitment to community and to one another, guided by our mission and core values. Let us draw on the strength of our school culture to work together in support of our community members of color and the ideals that ground our school.
Daniel B. Frank ’74, Ph.D.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.