|Dear Friends, Like many of you, my heart aches right now. There is a pain that begins with the injustice of George Floyd’s death and continues as we process the deep racial divide that continues to exist in our nation, and here in our own communities. A pain that holds steady as we search for answers and solutions and accept the difficult reality that these wounds are centuries deep and may take just as long to fully heal. Now more than ever, we need to show up for each other, and to listen to each other. I wanted to take just a moment to update you on YWPN’s perspective, and how we plan to show up for our girls. First and foremost, the wellbeing of our girls is a top priority. We know that for many of our families, the economic impact and uncertainty of the pandemic has been stressful, and unrest in our communities and distress around racial inequality weighs them down even more. Knowing this, we have asked our staff to be available to check in with our school communities to see how they are doing, to support them emotionally, and to make sure that the basic needs of our families are being met, including essentials. For us, summer (and distance learning) are not a time to take a break from our students and families – we are as engaged as ever and hyper-focused on their basic needs and wellbeing. As we return to school in August, wellbeing will continue to be a top focus. Our girls are courageous overachievers. They’re strong and resilient. And they are human. And many of them come from communities of color. They are not immune to the issues, and many of them have been personally impacted by oppressive policies and systems. We can’t hide from this, and in fact, our girls will be even stronger and better when we continue this discussion. So, over this summer, we will be working to expand the conversations started with our Respect Starts Here Program focusing on honest, frank, and ongoing discussions on race relations, racial equity, and systemic reform for the development of our students to educate them, to better prepare them, and to empower them. I hope that each of you will find a way to join in this conversation and to join us in our discussion. For the sake of our girls, and our future.
Chief Executive Officer