June 1st, 2020
Dear Mission Grammar Families,
As a Mission Grammar community, we want to acknowledge the pain and loss in our Black and Brown communities that has been occurring far longer than just recently. Our hearts are aching for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade and so many others. We care deeply about the impact this has on our community, especially our families and our brilliant, loving scholars who are the future. It is central to our mission that we stand firmly against racism. As a Catholic school community, we bring an added set of values to the discussion, namely the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which we share with our families and our scholars each day.
To help our community process and heal, we will:
- Create space for sharing your thoughts and feelings in a healthy way
- Provide emotional support to you and your families
- Offer resource navigation to you and your families
- Share concrete and empowering ways to take action
Our Director of Scholar and Family Services Ms. Zuleika Andrade (some scholars call her Ms. Z) is available to share resources and referrals to mental health supports as well as other needed community supports. She is also here to have individual and group discussions as needed. We will always take a trauma-informed approach to healing and recognize that these traumatic events impact our families and scholars, not just emotionally, but physically as well and these physical stressors make our community even more vulnerable during a pandemic where communities are already disproportionately affected.
As Mission Grammar faculty and staff, we will:
- Align our curricular goals with equity standards
- Hold conversations around privilege, bias, and self-reflection of identity
- Examine our own perception of our race in the societal context
- Prioritize critical awareness of texts
- Facilitate instructional techniques that place student-voice as priority
Where developmentally appropriate, we will provide our students with learning support, representative texts, and forums for conversation around productive advocacy, and sustained systemic racism.
We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. However, that does not mean that we stop standing up, speaking out and demanding justice.
Our next coffee hour on Thursday at 1:00pm will focus on holding space for this topic. If this time does not work for you and you would like to attend, please email Zuleika Andrade our Director of Scholar and Family Services at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add additional times to come together.
We will continue to pray for these families and for peace during our daily morning prayer. We understand that everyone grieves and experiences events differently and this might be too heavy a topic for some to share in a group setting. We are here for you whether you choose to attend an individual meeting, a group meeting or do not attend either.
Yours in solidarity and justice,
Mission Grammar Faculty & Staff
6th Grade Advocates in Action
A guide, shared with us by Sunshine Behavior Health, was created to discuss the impact of Racism and Discrimination on the Mental Health of Black Communities.
By sharing this resource, we can help continue the conversation about how racism and discrimination affect the mental health of the Black Community. We can help to reduce the shame and stigma sometimes associated with mental illness and mental health treatment in the Black Community.
-Black Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental illness?
-17% will develop a substance abuse disorder?
-Just 1/3 will receive the help they need? (The resource includes several free or low-cost mental health treatment options.)