Did you miss last week's Beloved Community meeting? We invite you to listen to the stories we shared (featuring artwork by Anisha K. '22!) and to learn more about the many ways we are trying to make systemic and cultural change at Nueva.
We understand that social justice is at once a process and a goal requiring both the capacity to envision the world we wish to see and the conviction and commitment to build it.
At Nueva, our vision for that future world is rooted in the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who boldly declared, “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
This concept of the Beloved Community frames all of our equity and inclusion work at Nueva as we seek to make the changes—individual, institutional, and ideological—we need to fully embody Dr. King’s vision of a world “tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”
Our institutional commitment to anti-racism is an extension of the work of building the Beloved Community. Considering the profound ways in which we are interconnected also requires us to examine in what ways we inhibit, deny, or break those connections due to our perpetuation of multiple systems of oppression. This examination of ourselves is both painful and powerful as we peel back the layers of pedagogy, practice, systems, and structures that have enabled some students to thrive and other students to struggle. That struggle manifests in multiple ways—from a sense of isolation to not seeing oneself reflected in the curriculum to microaggressions and outright discrimination—and is deeply impactful on the social, emotional, and psychological health of our students and faculty of color.
As we continue on this path and process of quantitative and qualitative change, we find ourselves grappling with profound questions of purpose and praxis:
- How do we create an abiding sense of belonging for every member of our community?
- How do we decenter whiteness in favor of the rich and varied complexity of our multiracial and multicultural community?
- How do we respond to harm while embracing the capacity of each of us to transform?
Our work for years to come is to find our way to the answers of these questions.
As Maya Angelou said, 'Do the best you can until you know better. And once you know better, do better.'
The spirit of her words describes Nueva’s iterative approach perfectly—we investigate and change accordingly. Clearly, now that we see the pernicious effects of racism within our community, it is the Nueva way to do better.
– Lee Fertig, Head of School
As a first-generation Asian immigrant, I have experienced very complicated emotions about the recent news. Every day for the past year, whether I was walking, shopping, or taking out the garbage, anti-Asian news stories have been in my head, reminding me to be careful. I am a mother, teacher, Taiwanese, American, friend, aunt, sister, daughter—but I have never felt my identity as an Asian immigrant so consciously.
There has been an increasing number of hate crimes against the Asian community recently in the Bay Area and across the country. In response to this violence, we created the Stand Together to Stop AAPI Hate website.
As a school community, we stand against all forms of violence and hatred directed towards any given group.
Every unit in Sam Modest’s sixth-grade humanities class begins with a discussion about a current event. The most recent unit began with an article about California Governor Gavin Newsom adopting a law to study and develop proposals for reparations and the final project turned students into activist-experts to improve a fictitious reparations bill.
Black history. So much beauty, struggle, resilience, fortitude, oppression, cultural richness, and triumph sits within all that this term entails. Black History is both a veil to see the indomitable power of the human spirit and the ability of the most marginalized to make magic out of little to nothing, as much as a mirror for our own imperfections as members of this diverse community we call the United States.
First-grade teacher Jahi Johnson is in his first year of teaching at Nueva. Learn what inspired him to teach, what art piece inspires him most, and why exploring Black joy is an important part of his teaching practice.
This week, we sat down with kindergarten associate teacher Rashida Blade, who is helping to spearhead new Black History Month programming in the lower school. This programming is designed to elevate past celebrations of Black History by incorporating division-wide hands-on activities.
Black history is a history that needs to be told and needs to be acknowledged. Without this dedicated month carved out, we might not, as a collective society, take the time to reflect on both the atrocities and the brilliance that Black people have endured and contributed to co-creating this nation.
The Nueva Board of Trustees has created a task force to help elevate the school’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)–with a specific focus on the Black community. The task force is working alongside the Nueva Social Justice and Equity Team, as well as administration, faculty and staff, students, the Nueva Parents’ Association, the African American Affinity group, the board of trustees, and others.
Watch the video to learn more about the task force's objectives and steps being taken to bolster accountability. (Illustrations by Anisha K. '22)
Thanks and Giving (November 20)
Reaffirmation of Our Anti-racist Commitment (August 26)
“At our core, Nueva is dedicated to possibility, creative potential, and the power of human empathy. What better time than now to imagine who we want to be and who we want to become as we confront the challenges that lie before us?”