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.