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Community Letter (June 2020)

A Message from Kent Place School (June 21, 2020)

Dear Kent Place Community,

Since our founding, Kent Place School has strived to educate young women for meaningful and impactful participation in our global community. The urgency of this mission has never been greater as our country and our school confront the painful reality of systemic racism reflected in the senseless killings of Black Americans, and in the many incidents of overt racism and violence across the country.

Within our own community, courageous Black students and alumnae have recently shared their own experiences of encountering racism on our campus. We share your outrage about the events set forth in these accounts, which run directly counter to our core institutional and personal philosophies, and we take them extremely seriously. We strongly condemn racism in all forms, and we will not tolerate it at Kent Place. We serve students of all backgrounds, and it is clear we have not succeeded for everyone. For that, we sincerely apologize — but words or sentiments are not enough. As the Head of School and members of the Board of Trustees, we take very seriously our responsibility to better serve our Black students, and indeed our whole community, moving forward. We commit to making meaningful change to ensure that every student in our community is safe, valued, and respected within an inclusive environment.

We will immediately begin a three-step program that will serve as the basis for long-term, comprehensive, and integral action in the weeks and months to come with the goal of becoming a truly inclusive community free of racism:

1. Engage. Our work begins with listening to our students and alumnae and amplifying their voices at Kent Place. This includes establishing multiple safe mechanisms for members of our community to report instances of intolerance and racism, and to following transparent and equitable protocols to govern investigations and disciplinary action. To do so, the Board of Trustees, Alumnae Board, and Leadership Team will each create a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force. These three groups will engage with the Kent Place community and take responsibility for overseeing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the progress of a comprehensive anti-racism plan for the school, along with other diversity initiatives to ensure that ours is a fully equitable community.

2. Examine. As part of this process, we will conduct a comprehensive assessment, assisted by outside experts, that will review our school’s policies, protocols, and curricula to understand where we need to change. We will reflect deeply on how to cultivate a culture true to our collective values and take action to enforce and continuously reinforce that culture. As we conduct this intensive assessment, specific allegations of racism and racist acts will be addressed with the utmost urgency.

3. Build. Out of this assessment, we will develop and implement a comprehensive plan to ensure we build a more equitable environment for students, faculty, and staff. This plan will engage all areas of our school, including admissions, teachers, financial aid, curriculum, training, student support, college advising, and hiring. We will share a plan of concrete and actionable initiatives in the fall.

As we move forward, the Board of Trustees pledges to make impactful change, and to measure the school’s progress. We will need all members of our community to participate in the critical work of making Kent Place an inclusive environment for everyone. In the coming weeks and months, we will seek your input and feedback as we share additional details on each of the actions outlined today.

We firmly believe that these steps, as well as those to come, will benefit every single member of our community, and to that end, we look forward to creating a better Kent Place for all — so that we can empower all students in our care to become confident, intellectual, and ethical leaders who advance our world.

We thank you for your commitment to Kent Place and also warmly welcome your input and feedback.

Yours for Kent Place,

Dr. Jennifer C. Galambos
Head of School

G. Alex Crispo
President, Kent Place Board of Trustees

Kent Place Board of Trustees