Dear Noble family,
In 1955, Emmett Till was murdered by a mob of white men in the Deep South. His mother, Mamie Till, courageously chose to have an open casket for her son’s body. She wanted America to see how racism and white supremacy literally dismembered, dishonored, and killed her Black son.
America is being pushed to see again – just how violent and murderous racism and white supremacy is. We saw the video. We heard George Floyd call out for his mother. And for the last three weeks – we lived it all over again in the Derek Chauvin trial. Here we are, living in the aftermath of a verdict that impacts our country. A verdict not only of the trial of Derek Chauvin, but the trial of our country’s spirit – our country’s soul. For many, we watched the trial daily. And for others, we couldn’t bear the retelling. In many ways, our values, our conviction, and our humanity have been on trial too.
As a Black woman, I find myself in despair at times. I wonder, “what is justice?” and “what are we doing this work for?” The hopelessness and tiredness settles in and takes up space. To be honest, just last week I went out to purchase a new cell phone holder for my husband’s car because I am afraid. I am racked with terror at the thought when he leaves our home someone may see his skin as a threat and take him from our family. This is the America that I see. And then, I’m reminded of our students. I’m reminded of our alumni. I’m reminded of our parents and families. They choose Noble every day because of the hopes and dreams they have for their lives. Then our role becomes clear again. We do all of this to be in service to them. We get up day in and day out, even when it’s hard, and even though it feels like everything is on trial, we get up because of them.
The stakes are high. And their hopes and dreams are higher.
I feel like justice prevailed today.
You may or may not agree with me. We all come to this moment in our nation’s history on different paths. But what can’t be different is our commitment to becoming better- to becoming antiracist. We must be committed to being just. We must commit to honoring the hopes and dreams of our families.
Our work is not always easy. It’s messy. It’s hard. It can be a lot to bear. And, this is the work. Be angry, sad, tired, or relieved. Feel how you feel. It is okay. We all have a responsibility to protect and honor the dignity, life, and humanity of the people who make up our Noble family, and Black and Brown lives across the country.
My greatest hope is that you and your loved ones are safe. I hope that our students and parents are safe and have what they need. In a city that is hurting so deeply, this is my hope for us all.
The deadly violence against people of color has heightened in the past few weeks as we know: a Mexican 13-year old boy in Chicago, six Asian women in Atlanta, a young Black man in Minnesota, four members of the Sikh community in Indiana. The trauma is compounding.
Say their names: Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Jacob Black, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Duante Wright, Adam Toledo, and so many more whose lives never made the news.
We see you. You are our students. You are our people. You are our hopes and dreams.
Jennifer Reid Davis
Chief Equity Officer
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