Fenwick's equity moves

Opinion: Editorials

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The racial reckoning underway in this nation is powerful and vast. On a national level we are careening toward a presidential election where stark differences on race will fundamentally define the outcome and the future of the country.

But the consequences of our deep institutional racism are going to be faced most critically and in our local institutions. We have watched with admiration at the critical self-evaluation at both Trinity High School in River Forest and Fenwick High School that has been underway since the spring murder of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis. 

As in many places, the video of that gruesome police action awoke students and graduates of these two schools who then shared their stories of racism at work in their college prep environments. The administration and the boards of both schools listened and have responded through acknowledgments of failings and determination to face down the racism built into their cultures.

This week we report on the hiring of Fenwick's first director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Raymond Moland is a Fenwick grad and currently a senior dean of students at the school. Two appointments were also made to its recently formed diversity committee.

Trinity had previously made similar appointments.

It is hard to change an institution. The process will be difficult and will result in pain along the path. Real change will require exceptionally strong backing from the school leadership — board, administration, alumni. 

As the work begins, we offer our appreciation for the effort and the expectation that both schools commit to the long road ahead.

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Bill Maxwell  

Posted: September 28th, 2020 1:20 PM

"It is hard to change an institution. The process will be difficult and will result in pain along the path." I think pain along the path is a little over states when compared to the pain of the historical civil rights activist that endured physical brutality. This seems to be a course or a resource for students who may be enduring a feeling of racism which is not very likely at two excellent schools that have one philosophy and that is to teach and students are there to learn and foster friendships regardless of race. The two schools are excellent examples to public schools although the difference is they are private schools and can focus on teaching so all students who participate will move forward equally

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: September 28th, 2020 12:17 PM

If we can just change Fenwick, the murders in Minneapolis will stop.

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