Dear Episcopal School of Baton Rouge Community,
Traumatic and tragic events which have transpired over the past days are an all-too-familiar reminder that racism and hatred against black people continue to exist in our society today. We grieve over the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others whose lives have been needlessly cut short. As Father Skully wrote in his message to our on-campus community this week, racism and hatred have no place in our school or our community. Through its mission statement, Episcopal is charged with nurturing and developing the whole child – spiritually, intellectually, morally, physically and artistically – through challenging academic and co-curricular programs which prepare our graduates for college and purposeful lives. Racism and hatred cannot be part of that experience. We deeply value people of color as a part of the Episcopal community while recognizing that our desire for human dignity has not always reached the highest mark.
Recent comments from alumni make clear that this must remain an absolute priority. While Episcopal, regrettably, did not do better for these alums in their years at Episcopal, we are committed to ensuring that current and future black students do not experience the same issues.
Actions speak louder than words. While Episcopal has made significant strides in recent years in terms of diversity and inclusion, we acknowledge that there still is much work to do. As part of its commitment to that work, Episcopal will be forming a task force dedicated to addressing racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.
With God’s Help,
Christopher D. Kiesel - Board Chair
Dr. Carrie Steakley - Incoming Head of School
Tom Forti - Head of Upper School
Mark Engstrom - Head of Middle School
Beth Gardner - Incoming Head of Lower School