June 2, 2020
Dear Briya Community,
We are deeply pained and disturbed by the persistent racism faced by the Black community and other people of color in the United States. We cannot tolerate these injustices.
The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and others by police have brought the traumatic reality of generational, institutional, and political racism in the Americas to the forefront. The COVID-19 pandemic also highlights the crisis of racism through the virus’s disproportionate, devastating impact on Black and Latinx communities. Our hearts are heavy, and we all have much work to do.
Although our staff and student community cannot be physically together to mark this moment and express our commitment to each other to work for justice, we are grieving in solidarity and identifying ways to support, organize and mobilize against racist and unjust structures.
Briya’s core values uphold the importance of equity and the worth of each individual. We affirm our commitment to be a part of dismantling systems of oppression through education. In recent years, we have incorporated NAEYC’s anti-bias education goals into program activities and curricula, as they relate to both the adults and early childhood students at Briya. Recent events are a stark reminder that all of us have more to do, both as individuals and collectively, to address racism and advance equity. As a two-generation school, we value our unique responsibility and position to do our part to instill equity and empathy as part of academic and social success. We recognize that babies are not born with prejudice, and yet bias is learned and internalized very early in life. We acknowledge there are actions we can take to create the kind of community in our school, city, and nation that nurtures the belonging and worth of all of its members. Transforming our institutions takes work. Here are some resources we are using in different ways as we recommit:
- How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi (Briya book group)
- Don’t Look Away: Embracing Anti-Bias Classrooms by Iheoma Iruka, Stephanie Curenton, Tonia Durden
- NAEYC’s anti-bias education goals and Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement
- The National Museum of African American History and Culture—Talking About Race This online portal helps families, individuals, and communities talk about racism and commit to being anti-racist.
On behalf of Briya, we commit to continuing our anti-racism and equity work as we strive for a world in which all parents, children, and families have equal opportunities to learn and thrive. To the Black members of our Briya community and our world: Your lives matter.
Christie McKay, Briya Executive Director
Daniela Grigioni Carozza, Briya Board Chair
Doris Garay, Briya Board Vice Chair
Nishit Sheth, Briya Board Treasurer
Flor Buruca, Briya Board Secretary