The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

Dear St James School Community,

In the words of The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” We as the racial equity team acknowledge that the recent racial violence in America must be addressed and per our St James mission we cannot choose to be complicit. In the pursuit of social justice, below are some concrete recommendations from Black, Criminology professors at American University which have been adapted to fit our school context.

  1. Read – with intention. Seek knowledge. Read scholarship on racism, inequality, and police brutality. Read research by Black scholars.
  2. Listen – with intention. Listen to the voices of disenfranchised, yet resilient Black people. Their narratives paint a telling picture of historic and pervasive discriminatory treatment by criminal justice institutions. Understand #Blacklivesmatter does not equal white subjugation.
  3. Talk – with intention. Not small talk. Not concerned talk. Not empathetic talk. Real talk. Informed talk. Uncomfortable talk. Processing by yourself can reinforce your biases, it is critical to engage in conversations with experts, colleagues, and mentors that challenge anti-Black narratives.
  4. Act – with intention. Get involved. Donate. Call out/in others. Involvement looks different for everyone. Staff can work with intention – as professionals with a wide range of expertise, we can bring awareness, concerns, and ideas forward to ensure our approach to issues of racial injustice is comprehensive and consistent across various school community contexts.
  5. Rinse and Repeat – with intention. There is no magic button. There is no quick fix. The weight of institutional racism, structural inequality, and oppression will not be lifted overnight. Instead, it requires each of us to reflect (rinse) and commit to this process (repeat), with intention.

St James Racial Equity Team


List of resources:

Anti Racism Book Lists

Articles on White Allyship

Healing Resources for People of Color

Resources for the classroom