Dear Houston Academy Family:
We have all been shocked and dismayed by the recent events surrounding George Floyd's tragic and shocking death. Regardless of one’s political party, race, religion, or creed, this event has brought the ideal of equality and equal justice for all to the forefront of the national consciousness. From our perspective, this event has confirmed our resolve to have a school community which values equity, equality, and which condemns racism and bigotry in no uncertain terms.
We do not want you to believe, however, that these values were not already important to us. Six years ago we incorporated the idea of inclusivity into our strategic plan. In fact, our very first goal was:
To raise global awareness by increasing respect and appreciation for personal and cultural differences.
It is important to note that we are deliberate in talking about being "inclusive," not merely "tolerant." Tolerance is passive; inclusivity is active. That is, it is not enough to merely “tolerate” differences in race, religion, or belief systems. We must “include” each other and, in fact, celebrate and understand our differences. We have worked on this through our advisory program and through our curriculum. Moreover, the Board of Trustees has made a firm commitment to diversifying the student body and a number of our families have made a strong pecuniary commitment to supporting students with financial need. Additionally, eight years ago, the Board of Trustees also expanded the school's mission statement to say that our mission is to "prepare all our students for responsible participation in a global society." This is an explicit acknowledgment that our country and world is increasingly interconnected and diverse, and the only way our children will be able to successfully navigate this world is to understand and respect differences.
Obviously, this is not enough, and there is a lot of "heavy lifting" to be done. The leadership team at HA is dedicated to giving our students from diverse backgrounds a voice, and those conversations have already begun. Specifically, we believe that one of the keys to moving forward as a community is to have honest, frank conversations, but also to listen to each other. You will be hearing more from us about specifics as the year moves forward.
As always, your input is appreciated, both by the Board of Trustees and Dr. Phillipps
Dr. Scott D. Phillipps,
Chairman of the Board of Trustees