A message from President Harrison
With very many people in North America today, I say, “Black Lives Matter.” And, I say:
This time will live in history. This time will cause us to learn, to grow, to change. But, I’m forced to ask:
Will it? Or are these mere words, spoken too easily from a position of privilege?
When we say that Black Lives Matter right now, will we mean it when people are no longer marching?
For me, the past two weeks have been a time of reflection, of asking where we fit into this time and place. Dietrich Bonhoeffer asked us to distinguish between cheap grace, the feeling of being freed from the consequences of evil by the simple trick of asserting that all has been forgiven, and costly grace, which recognizes that the point of forgiveness is that it frees us to face the nature and consequences of evil, to participate in God’s transformative change. This work is often painful, and it is never complete.
Racism, the mistreatment of people because of this strange construct we call “race,” is about more than obvious hatred, violence, oppression. Racism is also about systems that are built to benefit one group of people over another, often designed around identifying marks like physical characteristics such as skin colour.
Our world is built upon acts of racism. Canada has its own terrible history of black slavery. Canada has its own story of mistreatment of black people, including those who fled here in search of freedom. Because racism becomes part of the systems in which we live, it’s still here.
LTS has committed itself to learning and growing. We have set goals for ourselves and built them into our strategic plan, goals that focus on diversity, cross-cultural education, and decolonization. At some other moment, I will discuss our work at length, but not here and not now.
This is a time for self-examination. This is a time for rededication.
Today, I and the faculty and staff of LTS commit ourselves to fight racism in our school and in our world.