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Alumni Share Stories of Racial Bias; Packer Administration Releases Action Plan

On June 11, Packer's Head of School, Jen Weyburn, and Board Chair Deborah Juantorena sent a letter to the entire alumni community inviting them to fill out a survey and attend two alumni forums in efforts to learn from Packer’s past failures — incidents of racism and bias — and to provide a chance for people to submit their own perspective on what Packer could do to improve. We recognize that Packer’s mission is not achieved until all of our students feel safe, challenged, and celebrated as integral members of our school, to paraphrase our Diversity Mission Statement.

Prior to the forums, Black Packer alumni launched a “BlackatPCI” Instagram account that brings to light “stories and truths of racial insensitivity at the school.” The painful accounts that have been posted there echo what has been expressed by current families and in the alumni survey.

On June 23, Packer held a forum in which more than 100 alumni who identify as people of color shared their voices, their experiences, and their trauma due to racism at Packer. On June 24, Packer had more than 400 alumni participate, listen, and learn about these experiences. This was an unprecedented engagement of our alumni community, and a clear message that Packer needs to improve, take action, and be held accountable for past incidents. Packer alumni explicitly stated that the work thus far had fallen short.

After hearing this feedback and criticism from the alumni community, Jen Weyburn and the Board of Trustees issued a series concrete next steps and a timetable to develop an anti-racist culture at Packer. Please see An Action Plan from Packer’s Head of School and Board of Trustees for Creating an Anti-Racist Culture at the School for more details.

Alumni engagement is an important part of this process, and the survey is still open for you to share your thoughts and perspectives. We want to thank all alumni for their advocacy and dedication, and for keeping Packer accountable. Thank you for your work to ensure that Packer lives up to its mission. 

                                       

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