Dear GDS community,
We are so excited to share with you our 2021 back-to-school edition, which includes a special package of eight Features and Opinions articles exploring the state of racism and anti-racism at GDS. About one year after the @blackatgds Instagram account and GDS’ subsequent Anti-Racism Action Plan emerged—and as students return to school daily for the first time in 17 months—we hope to bring the important issues of race and inclusion at GDS back to the forefront of conversation in the community.
In the process of creating this package, it grew evident to us that discussions about racism and what GDS is doing to address it remain largely hidden from view, unexplored or else muffled by students’ apprehension to speak openly. A white student who had completed an Opinions piece about anti-racism pulled out of the project at the last minute, saying he felt the reputational risk was too great to share publicly his candid critique of GDS’ approach.
We also hope these stories serve as a catalyst for students who may not have always seen themselves represented in the Bit’s bylines to lend their voices to the paper. Just as we know that diversity enhances our journalism, we would like all students to feel equally welcome to join and benefit from the incredibly meaningful experience of writing for a newspaper.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to “Anti-Racism at GDS, One Year On.” We encourage you to read and discuss their work.
“As GDS Checks Boxes, Students Uncertain About Anti-Racism Progress” by Anna Shesol and Andrew Mikhail
“Heard, Hurt, Disturbed: Divergent Legacies of @blackatgds Live On” by Ethan Wolin
“Marlo Thomas Discusses Anti-Racism Plan’s Successes and Delays” by Amelia Oscherwitz
“Anti-Racism Plan’s Outside Audit Analyzes Long-Simmering Issues for GDS” by Laith Weinberger
“An Open Letter to Every Freshman of Color” by Jacqueline Elna Metzger
“For the Anti-Racism Plan to Work, GDS Needs to Tell Students About It” by Pallavi Bhargava
“‘A Double Life’: At School and Beyond, Black Women Face Unique Pressures” by Nadia Fairfax