NAIS Statement on Addressing Anti-Blackness and Systemic Racism

In recent weeks, many Black students, alumni, parents, and faculty members have shared their experiences in independent schools using the #blackat[schoolname] hashtag. We are so grateful for the willingness of people who are posting to share their most vulnerable and often painful moments.

The health and well-being of our students—especially our Black students, many who have suffered greatly—is vitally important. It is central to what we do, not only because so many of our missions include attention to race, diversity, equity, and inclusion but also because helping students grow and thrive is the core goal of every education institution.

NAIS is committed to addressing disparate experiences and outcomes based on race and racism in independent schools. This work is important all the time, not a box to be checked one time because the recent spate of horrific killings of Black Americans has brought examples of dehumanization into stark relief. In the coming weeks and months, we will be rolling out initiatives to build and strengthen strategic plans to address systemic racism and inequity and help foster ongoing dialogue.

As institutions across America are reckoning with systemic racism, schools can take the lead in addressing both historic and present-day injustice. Independent schools value and develop individual potential and build and nurture communities. Listening, learning, and growing are central to what schools do.

This is an opportunity to make our schools safer, stronger, and more active participants in the creation of a more just world.