March 17, 2021

Dear Charles Wright Families,

The news headlines have been full of troubling stories recently, identifying an increase of violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans and those of Asian nationality and descent. I have been contemplating a letter or statement this week, and thinking heavily about how to articulate my own personal thoughts on this matter, but also to state unequivocally that the Charles Wright community condemns acts of violence and hate, and we support those in our own school community and the broader communities we live in who are experiencing these acts personally, feeling unsafe seeing these acts take place, or are just upset knowing that they are happening. One of our primary core values is “respect,” and it is important that we are all living and modeling that value at Charles Wright Academy every single day.

This morning, I read more news of violence in the horrific acts of hate in Atlanta targeting women of Asian descent. As such, this communication became more urgent for me as our community is reacting to those acts and reconciling our own experiences with increased negative behaviors toward our Asian and Asian-American community members. Today, our Upper School advisory meetings provided space for students to discuss the increased acts of violence and discrimination and to speak openly about what happened in Atlanta. The student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team organized a discussion, including a video from a high school student perspective, and questions that sought to connect the video to our own CWA community. The student-led activity included a discussion of actions we can all take to interrupt anti-Asian discrimination and microaggressions. I continue to be impressed by and proud of the efforts of our students to ensure that we are fully living our recently adopted inclusion statement.

Charles Wright Academy is a place of inclusivity and respect, and we condemn acts of hate or violence, whether physical, verbal, relational, or online. We stand with the members of the CWA community, and of our broader communities, who are of Asian heritage. They belong in our communities, and deserve to be supported and protected from discrimination.

This has been a year of great challenge for us all. We remain focused on our primary work, driven by our mission to “inspire active, joyful learning while nurturing and challenging our students to develop the character, creativity, and skills to successfully navigate the future with confidence.” We also pause today to share this message and recognize our responsibility to live that mission fully. This includes to develop in our students the character and the skills of cultural competency necessary for them to recognize and speak out against behaviors that do not match our values. It calls on us to ensure that everyone in the Charles Wright community knows they belong, to lean in to candid conversations when necessary, and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to uphold our core value of respect. These are the ways that we know will fully prepare our students to navigate the future with confidence.

As always, I continue to be grateful for the support and partnership of our CWA families. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

With gratitude,

Susan Rice

CWA Inclusion Statement

Charles Wright Academy best exemplifies its mission and values when everyone knows they belong in our school community.

We embrace an intentional culture that champions everyone’s full participation as their authentic selves in all of the opportunities that comprise the Charles Wright experience. This includes supporting each community member’s understanding of their own identities and acceptance of the identities of others. By doing so, we empower everyone at Charles Wright to connect, learn, grow, and achieve.

The inclusive culture we strive for requires us to make both institutional and individual commitments. Institutionally, we will align policies, curriculum, and decision-making to this goal, and we commit to ongoing self-examination, learning, and action. We also encourage and support individuals to initiate and engage in candid, courageous conversations, as this work is the responsibility of every member of our community.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, March 2020