Dear Metropolitan School of the Arts Community,

We continue to be proud of the spirit, dedication and passion of our students, faculty, staff and families. We received so many positive responses in support of our decision to observe #BlackoutTuesday yesterday, and many of you have expressed your love for our black community. This is only ONE step towards showing our unity against racism, there is much more work to be done.

We all must do more–as individuals, families, neighbors, corporations, schools, and government—and we will continue to do more at Metropolitan School of the Arts. We must listen to our students, our families, our faculty, and our patrons to better understand the needs of our black communities and the many ways they wish to see our support.

Metropolitan School of the Arts denounces racism and is unified with others to stand up against the systemic injustices placed upon our black community. We are committed to being a part of the on-going dialogue to find solutions and ways to help our community learn and grow.

A first step towards this commitment is to encourage and welcome the voices of our black community members who can help lead us towards meaningful change.

What are WE doing now?

MSA is working on creating a specific group to help lead us in this change, and we will give them opportunities to gather, meet and lead.

We are also reminding our students of MSA’s core values and how they are relevant to what is happening today:

  • Fearlessness – speak up and out against racism
  • Empathy – seek out, acknowledge and value the feelings of our black community
  • Compassion – encourage love among our students; provide a safe environment and comfort for our students, especially in our black community
  • Collaboration – listen, discuss and engage together on solutions to eradicate racism through voting, programs, volunteering and donation
  • Curiosity – research, seek and ask questions of how we can all make changes to combat racism
  • Integrity – allow space for honest and truthful discussions about racism
  • Resilience – foster an environment to help our students and black community heal and repair
  • Innovation – be open to change, be open to doing things differently, be open to recreating ourselves and our country to move beyond racism

How can YOU help now?

If you desire to learn more and do more, here are some ideas of how families can spark conversations about racism, change, and how to make a difference:

  • Educate yourself about the many issues facing black communities today. Check out some age-appropriate books on racism and discrimination. Talk about what you have learned together as a family, allowing children to ask questions to help them better understand.
  • Talk with your neighbors, your colleagues and your classmates about ways you can make a positive impact.
  • Research and donate to organizations committed to racial justice.
  • Reach out to your local, state and U.S. Congress representatives by phone, email or letters.
  • Find and sign petitions in support of racial justice and victim rights.
  • If you are of age, register to vote.
  • Vote. Your vote counts. Vote for your Local representatives and your State representatives too!

With compassion, respect and love,

Melissa Dobbs, Sara Hart and Michelle Collier