PLEASE READ re: community conversation on Tuesday 3/28
Fri, Mar 24 1:11pm

Dear Thornhill parents and caregivers,

I want to make a personal plea to encourage everyone to attend the next Community Conversation with FSMEI this coming Tuesday, March 28 from 5:30-7:30pm. Child care will be provided, as will pizza for the kids and snacks and beverages for adults. EDITING TO ADD: Please see the agenda and RSVP in Parent Square, where you can also indicate you need child care.

I say it’s a personal plea because I’m only speaking for myself as a parent of non-BIPOC children — and transparently, I’m speaking right now primarily to other parents of non-BIPOC children, who have been underrepresented at these events. My intention in sending this note is to share why I’m so glad I’ve been attending — FOMO is the goal here, not guilt if you haven't been able to make it.

I love this community, and I’m gutted by the overt incidents of racism that have occurred at Thornhill, as well as the more insidious interactions that can and do harm children on any given day. I consider myself extremely well educated in structures and effects of white supremacy and anti-racism, and started attending the meetings due to my role in the PFC and desire to show up for the community. But all three events so far have added much more to my understanding and connection with other parents than I thought was possible. Even when the conversations are challenging, they’re also energizing. I leave feeling good about the impact I can have, not bad about all the things I haven’t done.

The conversations promote more nuanced perspectives, but also concrete recommendations for working to be anti-racist and raise anti-racist children. These recommendations are not about committing extra time from my schedule to be an activist — they’re about learning to identify small and doable but powerful opportunities to be part of the solution in the daily course of life. The format of the conversations establishes positive learning and safety within solidarity groups. 

When our community first met about October’s racist incident, many parents of non-Black students expressed extreme distress about the situation and feelings of not knowing what to do. Attending these meetings once a month has proven to be an excellent way to figure that out, even for those of us who think we don’t need it (spoiler: we all need it). We all have busy, overwhelming lives, and for some people, attending isn’t physically possible. For many others, it may be that one more meeting after school and work seems far less inviting than relaxing with family or getting some more work done. I get it and agree! Especially with this ridiculous weather. But the culture at school affects everyone’s children, regardless of background — in my opinion they’re as important as Back To School Night or the spring open houses, meant to connect the community with our kids’ lives at school.

Thank you so much for reading, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want to get a better sense of what happens at these events.

In community,

Evie Nagy

PFC co-president