Friends Magazine 2018

Page 5


//Q Independent schools like Friends often exist within urban environments beset by myriad challenges, raising the question: What, if any, is their responsibility to be a “good neighbor?”

A \\

Artist’s Viewpoint

Before this portrait, I had I would state that never used watercolor nor most, if not all, independent had I done blind contour. By schools do not have an inherent looking through different responsibility to be a “good neighbor” perspectives I was able to of service to the urban environments create this piece. in which many are located. That —Kienan Higgins ’20 is one of numerous consequences of white supremacy and the inequitable distribution of power and resources that allow independent schools to create and perpetuate their own figurative bubbles of comfortable ignorance. However, such a responsibility becomes prudent as the demographic and philosophical composition of the schools’ student, teacher, and administrative bodies begin to reflect the diversity of the environments that surround them and beyond. Many institutions find themselves in identity crises because of this evolution, and it would behoove them to acknowledge and adjust with the changes in perspective at the risk of becoming antiquated. From an existential standpoint, I believe there can be much discussion about differentiation in perceived responsibility among independent schools. Speaking for Friends, which was founded on the Quaker philosophy that espouses equality and the presence of God in everyone, such a responsibility to be of service to fellow residents in urban neighborhoods should always be a critical element within the zeitgeist of the institution. Has that always been the case? Unfortunately, no, but there is always time to change, and I can think of no better point in society than



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