I am pleased to announce that Sidwell Friends School and Howard University have formalized a partnership that we hope will have an impact on the civic dialogue about race, democracy, equity, and education among teachers and youth leaders for years to come.
Friends for Equity and Justice
"Words and thoughts may create a sense of solace for some, but are temporary for others. Further action and work are needed. Please remember that this is just a start, one that has been started many times before—each time we are reminded of injustice and racism, each time these horrible acts are brought to our attention. Let’s work together to move beyond this starting point into sustainable, effective action."
— Director of Equity, Justice, and Community Natalie Randolph ’98
As the nation began to process the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the victim’s grace-filled mother, Julia Jackson, courageously called for peace, prayed for healing, and implored everyone “to take a moment and examine your heart.”
It would be an understatement to say that this summer has been a trying one. As the struggle for racial justice and human equity continues, and as the horrific examples of this inequity, hate, and violence are thrust in front of us, our world, our country, and our School are embarking on a very necessary journey.
Ongoing police brutality against Black Americans and recent demonstrations have once again revealed that racism is woven deeply into our consciousness, society, and institutions, including Sidwell Friends School, from which the Board of Trustees banned the admission of Black students until 1956.
An update about the School's actions related to Equity, Justice, and Community, including a community invitation to read Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist for the fall.
For our children and the future of our world, we strive to teach about equality in order to eliminate systemic racism. Let us form a silent chain—SFS families and community members lining Wisconsin Avenue in unity and at safe distances.
In light of national events and the call for social justice, the full Sidwell Friends community is invited to come together for a called All-Community Meeting for Worship, Wednesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Further action and work are needed for the School and this country to move forward. It will be painful and it will be difficult. We will have successes and we will see failures. But we will keep moving and we will show up.
Dismayed and grieving citizens are protesting the heinous murders of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor in the District and around the nation, shaking us from our pandemic-focused stupor and reintroducing us to our nightmarish history of committing violence against people of color, a history that our nation and many of its historians have sought to bury under the notion of American exceptionalism.
The honoring of Martin Luther King Jr., the arrival of Black History Month, and the occasion of the Black Student Union production this week provide opportunities to come together as a community and reflect on our past.
“I have a lot to say about current events and I did my best to convey that through this drawing.” Thank you to Graciana '26 for sharing her artwork as a reflection of this time. Art is one way of expressing her voice, and there are many, many more ways to be heard.
Sidwell Friends School encourages Upper School students to produce student publications that enrich and challenge students, writers, and readers. View the latest issue of 1969, the Black Student Union publication, at the link above.