Message to Our Community from Head of School, Chris Bright

Dear Vistamar Community:

It has been a heartbreaking few days. As I wrote in our e-newsletter on May 30 and as we discussed at Parents on the Patio and at Morning Meeting on Friday, May 29, we are devastated by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade, and want to acknowledge the worry and pain many in our community are feeling right now. Over the past few weeks we have seen multiple incidents of inhumane treatment of black Americans, on top of a global pandemic disproportionately impacting communities of color and inciting anti-Asian sentiment.

Given recent events in the US and throughout the world, I want to reaffirm Vistamar’s unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion and rejection of racism.  Our school was founded with these values and a commitment to diversity of thought and culture is a key tenet of our mission. 
Our mission and values also call upon us to show up for one another, and our strong, caring community is among our greatest strengths. Although we are almost at the end of the school year, we are working directly with students and student diversity leaders as well as reaching out to students, faculty and staff to discuss initiatives and resources to support them. We plan to continue this work after the school year ends as well.

As an immediate next step, we have invited all students, faculty and staff who would like to gather to share our collective grief, to a Community Roundtable discussion via Zoom on Thursday, June 4 at 10 am. Our hope is to benefit from processing together our shared sadness, frustration, anger and pain. We also hope to begin healing together.

Over the summer, we will be scheduling additional roundtable discussions for our wider community, as well as providing additional resources and information.

Now more than ever, we are reminded of Vistamar’s vision of teaching our students how to stand up against all forms of hate. And we are reminded of our intention to prepare them to build a world that is more just than the one they are inheriting. Though we send our Class of 2020 off into an uncertain world, we have hope that they are equipped with the skills -- and values -- to reimagine it for the rest of us.
We look forward to seeing our students at our Community Roundtable on Thursday and to continuing these conversations.

Chris Bright
Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles.

Vistamar School