March 17, 2021 — Northfield Mount Hermon Head of School Brian Hargrove shared this message with the NMH community today:
This morning, we are learning details around the mass shootings in Atlanta that took the lives of eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent. For those most directly impacted by yesterday’s shootings, we want to reiterate what NMH students articulated on Feb. 18, when leadership groups met to discuss the rise in anti-Asian sentiment and violence. Layla ’21 wrote, “We offer our support and solidarity with the Asian community at Northfield Mount Hermon and abroad. We as a community must support and amplify Asian voices, educate ourselves on these injustices, and foster a safe environment for all members of our school.”
While we do not yet know all of the details surrounding yesterday’s senseless crime, we do know this — we are seeing a dramatic increase in acts of violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). In his address to the nation last week, President Biden called attention to “vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans who’ve been attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated.” Less than a week later, we are seeing in the most tragic of ways the impact of hate that is fueled by racism, xenophobia, and misogyny.
At our best, our community offers comfort and support to one another, as well as those who live outside our community. Today, I ask us to join together in offering our thoughts, meditations, and prayers for yesterday’s victims and their families. And, I ask us to consider how we can further support one another — particularly our AAPI students and families — as we seek to be our best selves and stand against identity-based hatred in any form.
We live in a world that, for generations upon generations, has suffered from the extremes of hatred sowed by a few and the collective biases of many. We will not wish it away. We must, again, re-dedicate ourselves to living the tenets of our mission.
As we do, it is my hope and prayer that NMH’s commitment to honor the strength that diversity brings, to grow together in understanding the value of our differences, and to embrace all that we share in common will make a difference here on campus and in our communities around the world in the years to come.