“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The subjugation of other races is one of our nation’s deepest original sins. Throughout history, we have witnessed how power and influence have contributed to both overt and covert discrimination. As a school district, we stand against racism.
These are unsettling times. The issue of race is a global matter that creeps into every community. Themes of race, culture, class, and identity are at the forefront in our society and touch on universal questions of how one sees oneself in relation to others. A critical component of our District mission calls on us “to inspire our students to be compassionate global citizens through dynamic teaching, meaningful curricula, and enriching experiences.” I am proud of the progress our schools have made, but a major factor in the evolving nature of education is that there is always more for us to learn. We have a moral obligation to reject all forms of injustice everywhere and to educate our young students to respect the individuality of every person. To not confront and denounce racism threatens our existence as a society.
Our schools are committed to the goals of developing a compassionate and respectful perspective as part of the global community. Engaging in meaningful partnerships with the greater community begins right here in Verona. We will continue to uproot racism wherever it exists in every corner of our schools. But our commitment must be more than words on a piece of paper.
Our District is convening a committee of stakeholders, inclusive of members of our community of all races, religions, and diverse backgrounds. The goals for this committee will be to review the current status of our school district, to identify our existing areas of strength, and to discuss the unique opportunities which may allow us to drive substantial improvements. As is the case with any meaningful initiative, our work will require a sustained, long-term commitment. We encourage you to consider volunteering your time and participating in our efforts by completing the following interest form.
These conversations will no doubt be challenging. While we recognize that not everyone is ready for this discussion, now is the time when we must come together as a community. To be successful in this endeavor will require constructive and thoughtful dialogue with active listening and deep engagement. We look forward to the honest and empathetic conversations that will help guide us forward. Thank you for your partnership and collaboration as we continue to inspire cohesion and trust within our community.
All my best,
Dr. Rui Dionisio
Superintendent of Schools