School NewsJan 7, 2021
— updated Aug 9, 2021
Insisting on the common good
Head of School Julia Heaton responds to the attack on the U.S. Capitol
Yesterday, as the world watched the takeover of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C., adults at Miss Hall’s began reaching out to students on campus and across the globe to check on their wellbeing and support them as they process a range of emotions — confusion, fear, anger, sadness.
This morning, our faculty will gather just after daybreak to prepare together to grasp this opportunity for learning and to support our students in classes and beyond, listening deeply and encouraging the sharing of thoughts and questions as students make sense of the world.
We will, to use the apt words of Kristy Delgado ’09, unpack the unrest we are witnessing and the political context of our fragile democracy in the coming days. We will offer a safe space for students and staff to look at the political context within the frame of youth mobilization, disinformation and tangible anti-racist strategies against white supremacy and authoritarianism.
At the sight of the capitol under siege, we are also forced to remind ourselves of the historic mobilization and hard-earned victories of the past year, many led by youth, women, and Black grassroots organizers.
At Miss Hall’s, we regularly engage in difficult conversations on a variety of topics from social justice to politics. What happened yesterday in Washington is not an example of civil discourse, meaningful disagreement, or engaged debate. What happened yesterday runs contrary to the principles for which our school stands, including honor, respect, and dedication to the common good.
We will continue to live by these shared values and inspire our students to be the inclusive, empathetic, and ethical leaders the world so clearly needs.
Stay safe and well,
Head of School
“We can repurpose this heartbreak into creativity and restorative hope.”
“Making space for grief and confusion is paramount for processing the larger pieces at play, but can also lead to disempowerment when not narrowed to our own individual potential to impact change. I believe Miss Hall’s students to be bulwarks of progressive and visionary leadership but also fear the backlash of heartbreak, apathy, and cynicism that can destroy our own readiness and passion for effective, collective participation.
“Despite the devastation I feel at the sight of the Capitol under siege, I am also forced to remind myself of the historic and hard-earned Georgia victory led by Black grassroots organizers. A large part of the past year’s mobilization relied on youth networks and affinity coalitions. It is part of a broader strategy against authoritarian regimes. And although the work has been hard, it’s been heart-driven and inspired.
“Hopefully (with time), we can repurpose this heartbreak into creativity and restorative hope.”
—Kristy Delgado ’09, January 7, 2021