Encouraging students to spread love and take action against hate, Head of Upper School Laura Ross addressed seniors in class meeting in response to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Kroger shooting, mail bombs and the burial of Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was beaten to death 20 years ago, Oct. 30.
“I hope that all of you are reflecting on the hate we see around us and thinking about ways you can make it better,” Ross said. “Purpose beyond ourselves is a central part of our mission here and I hope that when you are confronted with hate or bigotry you stand up against what you see and take action – even just the simple action of affirming the lives of those around you.”
Ross emphasized the importance of diversity within the school community to promote inclusivity across differences, whether they be of race, ethnicity, gender identity, politics or socio-economic background.
“However, what’s most important to me is that we [fill the school with an intentionally diverse community] because we want to give you the opportunity to move in,” Ross said. “ To recognize that there is value and dignity in every human life regardless of things that can on the surface divide us.”
Ross also advocated for students to take action in spreading love over hate within their own daily lives.
“So hug your Jewish friends,” Ross said. “Hug your African-American friends. Hug your transgender and gay friends. Tell them you see them and you support them. Sometimes even the smallest action can make a huge impact.”