COVID-19 Updates for the Phillips Academy Community

Read More
June 06, 2020

Black Lives Matter

Associate Head of School for Equity, Inclusion and Wellness Linda Carter Griffith shares thoughts and resources
by Linda Carter Griffith

From the Associate Head of School for Equity, Inclusion, and Wellness

While I can not remember the exact moment in my life that I decided I wanted to be a teacher, I can remember every teacher who touched my life, who changed my life, who paved the way for me—a poor black child from Roxbury—to be in a position today to work and lead at one of the most prestigious secondary schools in the world.

My best friend from grade school reminded me just last month that this was not “supposed” to be my trajectory. And, I had to stop and reflect on why I came to Andover and why I remain at Andover. The fact is simple and the story is not long. Nelson Mandela said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Andover is a powerful institution and in a powerful position to create change in the lives of young people by educating them to be change agents in the world. This is why I teach at Andover.

I know the impact of an Andover education! It is a gift to work at an institution where so much can be done to understand and overcome institutionalized and systemic injustice. Many alumni have reached out this week to express gratitude for the lessons they learned at Andover about racism and systemic oppression. Others have asked for a call to action: “What will Andover do to support Black Lives, to break the cycles of systemic racism?”

For some alumni, Andover was their introduction to the realities of privilege and oppression. And while many may take to the streets in protest, and others will donate from their hard-earned savings, and some may choose a hashtag or a solidarity post on social media, I have often chosen to use books—essays, poems, and plays—and my voice as an educator at one of the most powerful secondary schools in the world to execute change. Today, I ask you to join me in the fight against social injustice in the world, to help dismantle the systemic racism that is ingrained in our society.

There is no place for complacency while the country is on fire and black people are dying senselessly and violently— and have been for centuries. I am begging you as educators who work in this school to please join with me and weaponize yourself in the fight to save Black Lives. When the cameras fade and the hashtags change, how will you make Black Lives Matter— not just at Andover but in the world?

What can you do?

  • Continue to educate yourself on systemic racism and anti-racism
  • Attend a protest, sign a petition, write a letter, draw others into the conversation
  • As you are able, support nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and black- owned businesses financially

Included below is a plethora of resources collected by many members of this community. Please utilize these resources and share them with a friend or colleague. Andover’s commitment to educating youth from every quarter must include each one of us working to protect and ensure the safety of Black Lives.

In Peace and Solidarity,

—Linda Carter Griffith

Associate Head of School for Equity, Inclusion and Wellness

Categories: Leadership

Other Stories

For the love of teaching

Honoring four retiring Andover legends

Emerging Impact

Why a New Generation of Alumni and Parents Chooses Andover