We Stand in Solidarity
To our cherished Music & Art, Performing Arts, and LaGuardia community, we stand in solidarity with the fight against racism and inequity and we would like to share statements from LaGuardia Principal Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos and our LaGuardia Student Government:
Letter from LaGuardia Principal Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos
May 31, 2020
Dear LaGuardia Arts Community,
We are living in a time of unprecedented loss and pain. As part of this loss, members of our community have been disproportionately devastated by institutionalized racism. In the past week, unhealed wounds have been gouged wide open. Outrage over racist acts have spurred protests across our city and our country.
It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to have emotional responses. Strong feelings empower us to become informed. We support our students fighting for their voices to be heard. We support our young people participating in advocacy activities and not feeling forced into engaging in violent activities that are counter to their own beliefs. We support our young people advocating for those who feel powerless. Our community understands the power of demonstration and how to show support for causes we believe in.
As a community, we stand by our students who are working to educate others and calling out the privilege and inequity in our city and our country. The pandemic has shed light on the importance of being responsible for our own safety so we can be responsible for the safety of others.
We asked our Equity Team for some resources to support our community during this time of unrest.
1. Educate one another by sharing experiences. Our students are hosting virtual spaces for members of our community to discuss recent events. Please contact our Parent Coordinator Allison Price firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading Virtual Spaces if you are interested in participating.
2. Be informed. Make sure you know the facts and how to safely participate in activism. While students may have participated in protests previously, many of the protests this week have turned violent. Individuals must have constant awareness of their surroundings and leave a location if the mood of the situation changes negatively.
Be confident in your information. While memes and pictures drive certain points, they are intended to create specific emotional reactions. Be thorough in your research so you understand the issues.
FactCheck.org® A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center
3. Learn ways to support COVID-19 relief to ensure the most vulnerable communities are cared for.
4. Know who you can contact if you need to talk.Within the LaGuardia Community: Any adult you feel comfortable speaking with. Your Guidance Counselors are available to you. Find Faculty/Staff Contact Information
NYC Resources: NYC Well or text “WELL” to 651-73
Our faculty and staff will continue to focus their efforts on the needs of our community – caring for our young people during this time of trauma.
FOR FACULTY AND STAFF ONLY
We asked students what they need from the adults; they answered that they need you to acknowledge their humanity. Here are a few suggestions:
In your Google classroom, post a quick message: I see you. I hear you. I care about you.
In your office hours, ask students about them: How are you?In your outreach, begin by showing concern: I am calling to check-in. Don’t start by telling students they are missing work.
Now, more than ever, students need adults to show that they know their students well.
In addition to your classes, message groups of students you have relationships with, such as students from clubs you advise, teams you coach, groupies who hung out in your classroom during lunch.
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
100 Amsterdam Ave,
New York New York 10023
Letter from the LaGuardia Student Government Organization
Dear LaGuardia Community,
The student body of LaGuardia High School is devastated by the murder of George Floyd this week, as well as the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless black lives that are taken by vicious acts of racism. It is crucial to acknowledge that each of these acts of violence is not isolated, but stem from a history of systemic racism and oppression of black people. Consequently, calling out racism and police brutality is not enough, we must be anti-racists and work to dismantle the historic systems of oppression that lead to this violence. We stand in solidarity with the Black Community and stand against anti-black racism and white supremacy.
Every one of us has an obligation to speak out. There are times when being silent is being complicit—this is one of them. We urge our fellow students to take action and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the Linktree in our bio, we have added a link to a comprehensive list of ways to help, compiled by activists. If you are planning to participate in protests over the coming days, including Tuesday’s protest, please read the resources provided on how to stay safe. We also urge those protesting to be as cautious as possible in light of the pandemic.
If you are unable to protest, there is still plenty you can do. For those who are financially able, you can donate to funds for the victims of violence and police brutality as well as to funds that help protesters who have been hurt or arrested. If you are unable to donate, you can still sign petitions, call and email government officials, and share these resources on social media.
Regardless of how you choose to take action, it is crucial to educate yourself. There are numerous sources included that will help you educate yourselves on ways to fight against systemic racism.
Being an ally is not enough. It is incumbent upon all of us to use whatever platform we have to be actively anti-racist, and do what we can to fight for justice.
LaGuardia Student Government