We Are Westridge
A community blog featuring Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor, the Westridge Leadership Team, our esteemed faculty members and occasional special guests
Thoughts on the George Floyd Protests
by Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor
Our nation and local communities are in turmoil sparked by the killing of George Floyd, which came on the heels of several weeks of outrage and sadness over racial tragedies, including the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We grieve for Mr. Floyd, Mr. Arbery, and Ms. Taylor, and we feel a range of emotions, sadness, rage, grief, and disappointment among them, because as a society we have not done the required work to overcome generations of systemic racism.
As individuals and as an institution with a renewed and expanded commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we must speak up against the racism and injustices that have led to disproportionate rates of incarceration, poverty, disease, and killing of Black people and other people of color. We must stand with our African American students, families, faculty and staff, and alumnae, and those of African descent, as allies committed to anti-racist work.
As an educational institution committed to equity and justice, we must help members of our community have the difficult conversations about race that are always necessary, but imperative as we witness the historic events of today. Talking about race is not easy. That is why we must educate and train ourselves on how to do this as both members of a nation continuing to struggle with racism and racial disparities, and as a school in which we know students and faculty and staff of different races and ethnicities have different experiences in many ways.
As an educational institution committed to equity and justice, we must help members of our community have the difficult conversations about race that are always necessary, but imperative as we witness the historic events of today.
I have included a list of resources below, many of them recommended by our faculty. In addition, tomorrow, June 2, at 3 pm Common Sense Media will host a live discussion entitled "Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma & Race in a World of Non-Stop News."
School is out of session for the summer and we are separated from each other due to the pandemic, but I trust we will find ways to engage in the conversations and work needed to see change come out of these tragic events. Should students want to come together in conversations on these topics, please reach out to me and we will help to facilitate online gatherings. Our girls deserve a better world and that relies on all of us standing up and speaking out about injustice. We ask our girls to be courageous and use their voices for good. This is a time for all of us to do the same.
Resources for talking with children about racism and protests
- bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES (Note: this is a large compilation of resources put together outside of our community that we received through KQED's Mindshift podcast.)
- Aspen Ideas with Ibram X. Kendi: How to Be An Antiracist (there is also a book by the same title)
Resources for Healing
Historical and Current Context
- "Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice" and "Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)" by Bryan Stevenson
- Equal Justice Initiative: https://eji.org/
- "On Being" podcast with Imani Perry, talking about what it means raising her two sons
"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
- 1619 Project
- "13th" (documentary available on Netflix)
- "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," by Michelle Alexander
UPDATE 6/2/20 at 3 PM: An earlier version of this statement mistakenly used the word "blacks" to refer to Black people. The statement has been corrected and we apologize for the error.
As a Black woman, Westridge Lifer and alum - this post did not ‘move’ me at all… it’s appreciated yet problematic. I am appalled that “killing of blacks” was published from such a literary institution. Respectfully, I would like to see the amended statement also posted (on Instagram) with an apology to the Black Community. It is extremely insensitive and triggering to read. Did Elizabeth McGregor share this with any Black faculty members previous to posting? Like.. who posted this? It is quite alarming that this came from the head of school with such a careless and obvious mistake.
Westridge is filled with privilege, resources and an international community. What are you ACTUALLY doing to use these tools to support Black Lives? What are you actively doing to support Black Families within the community at Westridge?
When I attended Westridge (1998-2007), my family was extremely vocal due to the lack of diversity and support for Black Families. I NEVER received the support I needed. I experienced Racism for 9 years from students, teachers and Westridge families. I am still unpacking and healing from the microaggressions, moments of invalidation and alienation. I was the “TBG” for nine years here - token Black girl. Based off of the graduating class, it doesn’t show that much has changed within this institution.
I see no links that actively support Black lives, judicial change, petitions or funds for bail/lawyer fees for protesters. They are literally MISSING from your list. TAKE REAL ACTION or stop claiming that you are a foward-thinking school.
(note: includes Petitions, Text or Call Information, Email Templates, Places to Donate, Resources for educating yourself, mental health resources & MORE) - I would suggest any and everyone to check this out and learn how you can continue to support Black lives.
Help get justice for families & radically reform the American legal system.
Here is an updated Cash Bail Funds (U.S. & Toronto) - last updated 6/2/2020 @5:11pm https://bit.ly/CashBailFunds
Los Angelos, CA: People’s City Council is not exclusively a bail fund, but is allocating funds to bail. https://www.gofundme.com/f/peoples-city-council-ticket-fund
Black Lives Matter - LA, gofundme.com/f/blmla
Oakland, CA: Bay Area Relief ttps://www.gofundme.com/f/bay-area-bail-fund
Philadelphia, PA: Philly Bail Fund, phillybailfund.org
Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, https://www.phillybailout.com/donate.html
Pittsburg, PA: Bukit Bail Fund https://www.bukitbailfund.org/donate
Chicago, IL: Chicago Bond, chicagobond.org
Minneapolis, MN: @mnfreedomfund & @reclaimtheblock are fully funded and have asked to consider donating to an org on this doc http://bit.ly/fundthecommunity.
Atlanta, GA: Action Network - Atlanta https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/support-justiceforgeorgefloyd-protesters-in-atlanta
New York City: @freethemall2020 and BK Community Bail Fund has asked that funds be sent elsewhere! and DO NOT donate to libertyfund.nyc, which is a city program w/ ample private and government funds.
New York City LGBTQ+: Emergencyreleasefund.com, https://secure.actblue.com/donate/rikers-covid
Buffalo, NY: SURJ Buffalo Bail Fund is no longer accepting donations, https://fundrazr.com/11fcAd?ref=ab_e8vImf_ab_Aj7S5U6r7vwAj7S5U6r7vw
Albany, NY: Organized by Center for Law and Justice’s Amy Cooper https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8pAK2AzvDg
Columbus, OH: Columbus Freedom Fund https://www.paypal.me/columbusfreedomfund (has reached their $10K goal but is still accepting donations)
Louisville, KY: Action Network - Louisville https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/louisville-community-bail-fund?source=twitter&
Seattle, WA: NW Community Bail Fund https://donorbox.org/ncbf
Houston, TX: Restoring Justice Community Bail Fund, restoringjustice.org/bail
Dallas, TX: Faith In Texas, Not exclusively a bail fund but allocating funds to bailing out protestors faithintx.org/bailfund/
Colorado Freedom Fund: Colorado Freedom Fund, fundly.com/coloradofreedom
Massachusetts: Mass Bail Fund posts bails of up to $2000 in Essex & Suffolk Counties in MA, massbailfund.org
Toronto: Toronto Bail Fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/toronto-protestor-bail-fund
LGBTQ Freedom Fund: (both an immigration and bail freedom fund) https://www.lgbtqfund.org/donate-1/
Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Action Legal Team (BALT), https://baltimoreactionlegal.networkforgood.com/projects/60932-everyday-giving
Richmond, VA: Richmond County Bail Fund, https://rvabailfund.org/donate
Detroit, MI: Detroit Bail Fund, created by Detroit Rampage https://www.gofundme.com/f/detroits-bail-fund?utm_medium=sms&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_susi-sms-welcome
Nashville, TN: Nashville Community Bail Fund https://nashvillebailfund.org/
Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee Freedom Fund is no longer accepting donations, https://fundrazr.com/mkefreedomfund?ref=ab_19CDk2_ab_Aj7S5U6r7vwAj7S5U6r7vw
Las Vegas, NV: Vegas Freedom Fund, https://secure.actblue.com/donate/vegasfreedomfund
Kansas City, MO: Kansas City Comm. Bail Fund, https://www.kccommunitybailfund.com/
Jacksonville, FL: Jax Community Action, https://www.gofundme.com/f/CommunitySupportFund
Tampa, FL: Tampa Bay Students for Democratic Society https://www.gofundme.com/f/tampa-bay-community-support-fund
Cleveland, OH: paypal.me/blmcle
New Orleans, LA: @NOLAFreedomFund, https://donorbox.org/safety-freedom-fund-eoy
Omaha, NE: The Nebraska Left Coalition, PayPal.me/neleftcoalition
Durham, NC: NC Comm. bail fund, https://www.nccbailfund.org/donate
Hawai’i: Hawai’i Community Bail Fund is a project of the Dem. Socialists of Hawai’i Donate Now | Hawai'i Community Bail Fund by HawaiÊ»i Community Bail Fund
Miami, FL: FempowerMia, https://www.paypal.me/freethemallÂ
Tuscson, AZ: Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund, https://secure.actblue.com/donate/tsccbf
Des Moines, IA: Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, https://communitybondproject.networkforgood.com/projects/101939-free-our-protesters
Washington, DC: DC eliminated cash bail in the 90’s so there’s no bail fund. However, BLM D.C. Chapter has a legal support fund up and running. Donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/defendblmdc
Choose groups to clone to: