Landmark has always considered itself a safe, welcoming, inclusive community that embraces students and faculty from diverse backgrounds—racial, cultural, economic, and social. Nevertheless, no institution is perfect and there is always room for growth and introspection.
In the wake of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the national protests and calls for police reform that followed, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion committees on both campuses stepped up their efforts to help our students and faculty become informed, invested global citizens who have an awareness of inequality, injustice, and institutional racism.
Landmark students have an inherent ability to empathize with the experience of being misunderstood or underestimated because of their learning disability, and Landmark as an institution seeks to have all students continue to develop empathy for and awareness of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, immigration, and socioeconomic status.
Promoting Racial and Social Justice on Our Campuses
The High School committee wrote letters to both faculty and students, encouraging them to engage in a conversation about systemic racism and how their lives are affected by it on a daily basis. They also offered dozens of resources and strategies.
At the suggestion of the committee, Landmark High School Librarian Amy Veling curated a summer reading list focused on books that present a diverse array of perspectives. Students were asked to choose a book that will add to their understanding of the world around them. Parents were encouraged to read the same book and start a conversation with their children about the book and answer questions.
The Elementary•Middle School (EMS) committee regularly provided anti-racism resources in its weekly Parent Newsletter; had previously launched monthly presentations for special cultural observances, such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month; and is developing teacher training and curriculum around anti-racism and social justice.
In a letter to the Landmark community, Headmaster Bob Broudo expressed confidence that like the coronavirus pandemic, racism can be overcome through a collective effort.
“Through UNIFIED ACTION, we can begin to make changes to end inequality and racism, we can more readily celebrate and draw strength from our diversity, and know that it is the differences in people who make up any organization, city, or country that make them stronger, richer, and better able to function and fulfill their mission and goals,” he said.
Elementary•Middle School Resources
The Tutu Teacher discusses what racism is and how it has impacted the lives of Black and Brown people in her video geared toward kindergarten students.
Jelani Memory reads his book, A Kids' Book About Racism.
High School School Reading List
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
American Street, by Ibi Zoboi
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi
Color Me In, by Natasha Diaz
Dear Martin, by Nic Stone
Forward Me Back to You, by Mitali Perkins
Grass, by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (graphic novel)
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
Heavy: An American Memoir, by Kiese Laymon
The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
I’m Not Dying with You Tonight, by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones
I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir, by Malaka Gharib
On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger
Watch Us Rise, by Renee Watson
With the Fire on High, by Elizabeth Acevedo