Complexity as a Cause for Collaboration

Jason HeissererUncategorized

Complexity is a “cause for collaboration.”
–paraphrased from The Equity Manifesto

 

Friends,

This weekend, Kim, Gina, and I met with a group of parents of children of color. This group will meet as a complement to the work of our community members participating in the Witnessing Whiteness study group and to the work of the faculty, staff, and board members who have participated in the Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism Workshops with City Garden Montessori. Although this first group was small, their voices were big, and their commitment to Crossroads and how we might strengthen our work with racial justice is obvious. I am looking forward to how we might engage these parents more and in ways that are meaningful to them, to their children, and to our community. They will be valuable supports for us and our community.

The work of inclusivity, of listening to understand, and of providing and leveraging safe spaces for the learning of each student at Crossroads is complex. This complexity exists across several identities and experiences. I have learned more about this as I have listened to some of our Jewish students talk about their experiences at Crossroads. I value their commitment to holding on to what they know and love about our school even as they offer examples of how we might listen to and learn from perspectives that might be different from that of their peers. I value that they are eager to hold on to one another and to their peers as we discover how we might collaborate across our differences in this regard as well.

My work as a Head of School is big and hard and wonderful. It is joy-filled even when the work is challenging, even when I do not have ready answers, and even when the conversations and the work ahead seem difficult or daunting. And yet, I would not want to be anywhere else at this time or place in my career, in the history of Crossroads, or in the history of St. Louis. As I mentioned in a message earlier this week, my hope for Crossroads, St. Louis, our nation, and the world is that we cultivate moments of peace together during this season of different holidays for different people. I hope that we cultivate moments of peace with courage and honesty and with a commitment to listening and with a commitment to holding on to one another as we work to understand who we are, where we come from, and how we arrived here together.

With great expectations,
Jason