Wednesday, October 23, 2019

She Will Know Her Power

"Red And Yellow Dance" found here

It has been five days. I am assuming that the leadership of my former school, having been silent so far, is circling the wagons and coming up with some talking points about my last blog entry. While they make plans, let me clarify a few things:

1. Before the argument makes the rounds, my beef with the school is NOT personal and I am not an angry Black woman/former Board member. If that were the case, I would have a. Reported the misdeeds in June when they happened; b. I would have named names; and c. I would have mentioned the actual “personal” story that happened when my husband and I were attempting to enroll our daughter at the school. I did none of those things. The Alumnae Board has (or had) bylaws. These bylaws were available to everyone, in fact, last I looked they are on the school’s main website. One of the new co-presidents of the Alumnae Board disregarded the bylaws and stole a leadership position. And she was allowed to do that by school leadership. That is what happened. Those are the facts. In June, when this was happening, I strongly opposed this and my opinion was dismissed. I sent my resignation letter, including alternative proposals, to the entire Board and school leadership-- so they have KNOWN exactly where I stood. For four months. And they have said and done nothing.

As for the “angry Black woman” situation- I have been a part of this small society since eighth grade. I know that when I disagree with the status quo, someone is going to say that I am just angry and somehow my actions are making people feel uncomfortable or anxious. Or my reaction is detrimental to our "community." To that I say: if my sitting at the table and calling you out on your noted racial and/or socioeconomic inequality makes you anxious or hurts your feelings… enjoy that anxiety, because I am not going anywhere.

2. The fallout from my blog post is that a lot of ladies now feel comfortable sharing their stories and their experiences- good and bad. And I am happy about that. There is no way that the school will pretend to, I mean, embark on fixing its strained relationship with some of their alumnae if we don’t band together and MAKE THEM SEE US. I spent five years highlighting the good experiences of our classmates while I was on the Board. Just like the good, our bad experiences should be dealt with swiftly and in public. If the school has wronged you as an alumnae, they should be brought to task about that. I will gladly be the face of a movement towards the school making amends. They need to and we need to demand that they do so, immediately.

3. I will remain transparent in what I want from the school. I want an apology from them, specifically from the woman who stole her position on the Board and the two women in charge who allowed her to do it. I want some guarantees that set in stone rules will not be broken again. I want to see more diversity (racial and socioeconomic) in charge of alumnae relations and (eventually) I want to speak with the school about the situation that took place concerning my daughter. Essentially, I want the school to show some of that “good behavior” that they supposedly instilled in us when we were students there. I have said and will continue to say- they need to work better with alumnae. And the school cannot work well with us if they continue to treat us like shit AND we allow them to get away with it.

4. As a reread my first post, I know that it seemed as if I was out on a limb by myself, like EVERY Board member left me in the wind. That is not true. I had four ladies who vocally opposed the coup that the school allowed. I appreciate them more than they know. There are ladies who stood up against this. There are ladies who know that this is wrong and said so. I am not the only person who left the Board. There ARE women who have enough backbone to stand up against this bullshit being shoveled in our direction. Some of those ladies are speaking their truth now. Listen: as a feminist I really believe that ALL women bring something to the table. We gain nothing by being bitchy or excluding people. You cannot feed the needs of your people (in this case alumnae of a private school) if only a portion of your people are represented. If that portion is almost solely rich, White women, you stand to alienate an ever growing number of people in your community. If you allow your representatives to come in and do whatever they want, rules be damned, because they can write you a big check, you will alienate (and infuriate) your base. If you teach young women to speak up when they see some wrongs… be ready to be brought to task about the wrong shit you do. I will not go away. I will not let this bad behavior continue. I will not be silenced.


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