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September 29, 2021

Anti-Racism Task Force

Head of School Raynard Kington, MD, PhD, P’24 issues update on next steps in letter to campus community

I write today with an update on the work of Andover’s Anti-Racism Task Force (AATF) and with gratitude to all who have contributed to this comprehensive process. Whether you served on the task force, staffed the task force, or were one of more than 1,000 members of the community who shared personal experiences, reflections, or constructive ideas, all voices were heard, and all input informed this community-wide effort.

The task force managed an extraordinary amount of data and information and has briefed trustees on its initial findings. Given the abundance of material and the rapid pace of the year (closing of spring term, summer break, and opening of school), this process has taken longer than we anticipated. For that, I apologize.

Each of the task force’s four committees has submitted a working paper. Once a synthesis of this information is complete—identifying cross-cutting issues and opportunities—trustees will then consider those recommendations that stand out as essential to Andover becoming the anti-racist institution that we want it to be. The board will conclude its work over the next several months and will share an action plan this winter. As we have noted before, some steps endorsed by the task force are already being explored.

Composed of alumni, parents, faculty, and staff, the AATF undertook a formidable charge: “to address the inequities faced by Black, Indigenous and other people of color at Andover, and to identify new systems and structures of practice and accountability that will transform our community, including our Outreach Programs, into one that delivers on the Academy’s promise to be diverse, equitable, and inclusive for all racial groups.”

They embraced this charge, while also appreciating Andover’s legacy commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Inspired by its founding ideal to educate youth from every quarter, the Academy intentionally pursued the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body, established a need-blind admission policy, and cemented equity and inclusion as a pillar of the 2014 Strategic Plan and academic programming. The Board of Trustees in 2016 established its own committee on equity and inclusion, which remains active today. I am grateful to E&I Committee chair Gary Lee ’74, who co-chaired the AATF with Linda Carter Griffith, associate head of school for equity, inclusion, and wellness.

Our community also recognizes and values the educational continuum that DEI efforts represent. Eager to always improve and grow, Andover will remain a work-in-progress on this front. Those actions and recommendations ultimately adopted by the board will help to create a community in which everyone has voice, agency, and the ability to flourish and reach their full potential.

Sincerely,

Raynard Kington, MD, PhD, P’24

Head of School

Categories: Leadership

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