We are aware of the intense reflection and discussion that has been going on across the nation and indeed across the world in reaction to the death of George Floyd. The response from Black Lives Matter, other anti-racist movements, and specifically on how individuals and institutions can play a positive role going forward has had a profound impact on society. It is a real travesty that it takes a tragedy like this to help trigger change. But, as those communities that have suffered racism over decades and even centuries know, this is all-too-often the case.

We each have a responsibility to speak out, to send an unequivocal message that racism is never to be tolerated, that ignorance and prejudice are never acceptable. From the Avanti trust, we do not and will not tolerate racism and injustice, and we greatly value the indispensable role our schools can and do play in dismantling systemic racism, both overt and covert.

We wish to stress our commitment to listen to our communities and to work and consult to drive change. We want to equip our students to understand and combat racism. We will be engaging further with staff, students and parents to see how we can continue to shape and promote this agenda beyond our schools and to the decision-makers who now must respond.

And in the midst of such tragedy, it is heartening to see how our young people often show us a more enlightened perspective and provide hope for a better future. One of our students wrote this, which reflects how Avanti’s six core principles* are being interpreted and applied in this context by students:

Hi Miss,

It is so true and really upsetting when you think of how badly people like George Floyd were treated all because of their skin colour. George Floyd’s last words were so desperate as he begged for dear life but the ego and animosity of the policeman took over his mind and made it merciless.

It really isn’t fair and this should be an eye opener to everyone to take action and not to be silent. Racism is still a problem in today’s society due to people’s mindsets and their ignorance. They are ignorant to the fact that no matter what skin colour, race or ethnicity you have or whatever exterior position you have, at the end of the day, we are all human beings. We should all be treated equally. Racism is still a problem also because of everyone’s silence and inaction. From the very start, racism should have been eradicated as well as these hateful thoughts.

On the outside, we all may look different however on the inside, we all are the same. We are all pure, eternal souls who are in this temporary, material world and are all part and parcels of God. If people were to open their eyes and see the bigger picture of who we all really are then racism probably wouldn’t exist. If we all were to unite, despite our differences, and face this issue together then we could abolish racism-not the people who are racist but these racist thoughts that invade people’s minds. We could destroy the demons inside our minds even by educating ourselves about who we really are and what our purpose is in life. We should remind ourselves and others that our purpose is ultimately to become a good human being and in order to do so we must be kind to each other and to speak up against things that are immoral. 

By doing this, I think we can save so many innocent lives. Thank you Miss for bringing this issue up as I think it is so important, those were just my thoughts on this topic… 

*Avanti’s six core principles:

  1. We are unique spiritual beings with incredible potential and we achieve our full potential by discovering and nurturing all parts of ourselves – intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  2. We choose how we wish to respond to life and what we nurture within us.
  3. We care for and respect all life – human, animal and plant – and live in a way that causes the least possible harm.
  4. We each observe the one same reality from our own unique perspective and engage in open-minded dialogue to deeply enrich our vision.
  5. We serve a higher purpose by living a meaningful and satisfying life of contribution.
  6. We are nourished by personal relationships that fulfil our need to love and be loved, encouraging us to be the best we can be.