Administrators, alumni meet virtually to discuss systemic racism

Ethan Lachman

In an email sent to students, parents, faculty and staff, President Rick Commons announced Friday that the administration met virtually with alumni who co-wrote two letters asking the school to take further steps to combat racial inequality and prejudice within the immediate community.

Throughout the Zoom meeting, Commons said that he and other school leaders were receptive to the alumni’s concerns and aimed to identify the ways in which the school both fell short and succeeded in acknowledging the needs of people of color during their time as students.

Speaking with the alumni, the administration then outlined steps they had taken to create a more diverse, inclusive and socially aware community and curriculum. With a focus on the future, Commons said the administration will strive to listen to and learn from what the alumni had to say.

While the concerns of the alumni are real and serious, throughout the 90-minute meeting, their loyalty was palpable and encouraging,” Commons said in the email. “I am grateful for their commitment to an ongoing partnership as we strive together to make Harvard-Westlake stronger and better.”