IBSC Affirms All Efforts to End Racial Inequity and Social Injustice

The International Boys’ Schools Coalition (IBSC) openly and genuinely affirms all efforts to end racial inequity and social injustice. As a global organization, we recognize our overdue response to the violence and discrimination witnessed against people of color. With the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Armaud Arbery and increasing incidents of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, and anti-Asian racism as a byproduct of COVID-19, we recognize that racism, marginalization, and systemic oppression are deeply rooted in our history—not only in the United States but throughout the world.

In his opening address at the 2015 IBSC Annual Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, Desmond Tutu said, “We were made for interdependence: ubuntu. A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, and does not feel threatened by the abilities of the other. We are diminished when others are humiliated; we are diminished when others are tortured or oppressed. Ubuntu speaks about our interconnectedness. You cannot be human all by yourself. We think of ourselves far too often as individuals, separated from one another.”

When we embody this quality, ubuntu, we acknowledge people for who they are in all their diversity and integrity.

At IBSC, we recognize and acknowledge that:

  • Racism, oppression, and bigotry are political matters that cannot be addressed on a moral basis alone.
  • Eradicating systemic racism is critical if we are to succeed in creating boys’ schools that actively work toward all our boys flourishing, especially our boys of color.
  • The majority of our member schools still embody a white, Eurocentric perspective and are thus vulnerable to the same systemic discrimination that plagues our world.

A central goal in the 2020 IBSC Strategic Plan states that we seek “to build and promote diverse, global learning communities, both within and among schools, ensuring best possible access for member schools and their individual members, while endorsing the inherent value and dignity of each person.”

In alignment with this strategic goal, we at IBSC commit to:

  • Work intentionally to become aware of and remain accountable to our implicit biases regarding race, our collective and individual racial identity, and racism;
  • Work to address any systemic and policy-based inequities within our schools;
  • Advocate for a world where every human being is embraced and celebrated for their geographic and social origins, beliefs, and opinions and has an equitable path for a life of dignity, meaning, and influence; and
  • Cultivate in our global village boys known for their generosity, compassion, equity, and justice.

To such end the IBSC trustees established and resourced a diverse global task force that will provide strategic, longitudinal oversight for IBSC as it seeks to build antiracist schools that embrace all intersectionalities of each boy’s identity and create greater access and care for boys of color within member schools worldwide. This task force will report back to the IBSC trustees in January and to member schools at the 2021 IBSC Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

As teachers of boys we have the added responsibility to combat thousands of years’ worth of racial injustice, gender discrimination, male chauvinism, and misogyny all linked to deep-seated notions of racial identity. It is our desire to develop a new cadre of boys more inclined to consider the welfare of others and the impact of their actions on the communities they serve—ubuntu, as Desmond Tutu charged us. As leading global schools, it is our calling to act in pursuit of a more compassionate, equitable, and just society.

Nelson Mandela said, ”Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.”

The only limitations are those we impose on ourselves.

IBSC Board of Trustees
August 2020

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