Sam Phil
June 01, 2020

Change for the greater good

A letter from Jim Ventre ’79 in response to tragic events across our country

To the Andover community,

While suffering the effects of a global pandemic, we are reminded once again that our nation faces a more insidious moral struggle. The tragedy of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota and other unspeakable acts of violence against people of color in America have sparked outrage and protests in cities across our country, including Boston.

As we acknowledge these intolerable, horrific acts of racism, we raise our hearts to support those who are hurting across our country and our colleagues and friends in the Andover community. We also raise our minds to the cause of working to prevent the racially charged injustices that permeate society, as this latest tragedy reminds us.

The pain of George Floyd’s death, as well as the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many more, require, at the very least, our solidarity. Our community is struggling, and we need to step up to denounce racism with one voice.

To witness a barrage of images of anger and unrest is also to face our fear, anxiety, and grief. We know that Andover is not immune to this national crisis. The work we do toward a more equitable campus is a microcosm of what we must contribute to the ongoing societal struggle to end racism. We will do whatever it takes to uphold our founding values of non sibi animated by the principles of knowledge and goodness.

We are blessed to have the knowledge and the strength to effect change for the greater good. I remain inspired by those in our community who care deeply about the ideals and values of Phillips Academy, the very ideals that will sustain us in this challenging moment. For those who are hurting, please accept my heartfelt compassion and empathy. In the face of widespread anger and chaos, we have each other for support, and we will stand together for social justice.

With appreciation,

Jim Ventre ’79

Categories: Leadership

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