As our community has positively rallied to face the challenges of COVID-19 this spring, our nation has once again witnessed the unjust murder of a black man on video. We are deeply saddened by the homicide of George Floyd, as well as by the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and too many other persons of color whose God given, imprescriptible right to exist has been denied by those who viewed them as sub-human. Our hearts are breaking for these families as we search for answers and a path forward.
Scripture, specifically Proverbs 3:13, tells us: "Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, who gains understanding." While we look for wisdom in these times, we must seek understanding of each other. It is by recognizing our differences, by understanding that there is racism inherent in our world, and by working to become allies in combating this injustice that we will ultimately form a more perfect union and uphold the ideals of our founding creed.
While incarcerated in a Birmingham jail cell over fifty years ago, Dr. King penned a letter in which he proclaimed to our nation and the world that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." We must help our students to not only navigate the injustice in our world, but to also use their voices, talents, convictions, resources, and faith to honor and champion the fundamental right of human dignity.
There is anger, confusion, and discord in the streets of our country, yet we know what we must do. There is hurt, outrage, and frustration in our communities, yet we know what we must say. We must peacefully, cogently, and vociferously speak out against injustice anywhere so that we can become just everywhere.
At the hallowed ground of Gettysburg, Lincoln reminded us that our nation was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Since that time, we have rightfully expanded our definition of equal to include all people. It is this definition of equality that informs our path forward as a school community and a nation.
Our American story is one of liberty, hope, optimism, opportunity, and struggle. Our Canterbury story is one of love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. As educators, and as a school community, it is incumbent upon us to blend the best of these virtues in order to guide our students toward lives of purpose, passion, and meaning. That mission includes a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity, and unity, all of which are a testament to the best of who we are as a people, as well as a reflection of both our nation's motto E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one) and our school's motto Integritas in Omnibus (Integrity in all things).