Letter from the Head of School: Extraordinary Circumstances
Sent: May 30
Dear Breck Families, Faculty and Staff,
Understanding you have received several communications from me in the past several days, I want to preface this message by sharing that I have made the decision, under our current circumstances, to communicate as much as possible with our Breck community.
Today, Saturday, May 30, 2020, we continue to hold in tension the juxtaposition of extraordinary circumstances. As many ventured out this morning to contribute to the clean-up efforts throughout the Twin Cities, at Breck, we welcomed some of our graduating seniors and their families to stand before the Wilder Bell for a portrait in their caps and gowns. It was heartwarming to see pride in the faces of these parents and joy on the faces of our seniors. And yet, as I write this note to you, I continue to hear sirens and brace for what may be a chaotic and dangerous night.
This morning I spoke with our Golden Valley mayor, Shep Harris, and many of us listened to Governor Tim Walz and various city leaders. All made pleas for citizens to stay home. I urge our community to heed this plea. Whether you are contemplating joining protests, or you are simply having to answer the question, “Can I go out? I just want to be with my friends.” Please keep your children home and please stay home. Our greatest concern is the safety and well being of our community.
Faculty and administrators have taken steps today to ensure that our Breck community members who live close to the areas most affected by the violence in recent nights are safe and have access to support we can offer. I am especially grateful to Alexis Kent, Heidi Kim, Cathy Preissing, and A.J. Colianni along with many other Breck faculty and staff who are carefully considering the needs of our families. Please know that our counselors, Chaplains, and support staff and faculty are at the ready. As a reminder, here is a link to our faculty directory should you want to contact us for any reason.
I also want to express my deep gratitude for the National Guard’s service people who are rolling into our city to help protect our people and places. This protection will help us focus on the work we must do to strive for justice and peace. There is deep and generational pain in our community. The scars and wounds of racism cannot be ignored. And, at the same time, we will not condone violence. We must continue the fight against racism by looking inward and being accountable for our individual fingerprints on systemic inequality. That is how we honor the memory of George Floyd.
Our Episcopal identity and missional commitment to social responsibility act as a strong foundation for our community in these most challenging times.
Breck Upper School students Joseph Purvis ‘21, Ayres Warren ‘22 and Maddie McDermott ‘22 share their experience interviewing Leslie Redmond, a local community organizer and former President of the Minneapolis NAACP. They also share their excitement for the MLK Symposium and Amplify Our Love with Pie events happening at Breck this upcoming week. Ms. Redmond will be the Upper School keynote speaker for the our 20th annual MLK Symposium.
On Sunday, January 17th, Breck will co-host Sweet Potato Comfort Pie’s seventh annual MLK Holiday event: Amplify Our Love with Pie, to honor the 92nd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breck student, Kai Miller ‘22, has been working behind the scenes to get ready for the event. The communications team at Breck did a brief interview with Kai to ask about her experience working on the event.
Natalia Rico Hernández, Ed.D., Head of School, updates the Breck community on the School's response to Wednesday's events.