Mission and Antiracism Statement
The Academy at Charlemont delivers a rigorous education and fosters joyful engagement, active citizenship, and the desire for justice in each student. Our community nurtures creativity, independent thinking, and empathy so that our students become their best selves.
The Academy at Charlemont exists to provide students with an education that emphasizes academic excellence, thoughtful engagement, active citizenship, and a desire for justice. Recognizing the fact of racial injustice in this country, these principles inspire us to commit this school to fighting racism—to strive to become an anti-racist institution. As a predominantly white school that mirrors the demographics of our region of northwestern Massachusetts, part of our tradition has always been to expose our students to ideas, histories, and experiences they might not otherwise encounter. But we must do more.
The violence our criminal justice system perpetuates against BIPOC citizens, including countless murders at the hands of police, is not a collection of isolated incidents, but part of a too-long list of extrajudicial killings of Black Americans. This violence is only the brutal indicator of a system of racial injustice and white supremacy in this country. This state of affairs demands that all American institutions look inwardly, seeking to repair the damage done by racism and acknowledging that a bare commitment to equality—without antiracist action—is insufficient.
As we continue to examine and reflect upon the school and its history, we remain committed to identifying issues that may require reparation and healing, examining the school as it is today, and exploring how we can refine our practices to teach antiracism throughout our community. Recent steps in this work include making our curriculum less Eurocentric, diversifying our Board of Trustees so that it is no longer an all-white governing body, and taking a fine-toothed editing comb to our handbooks and policies to ensure greater equity.
Education is fundamentally a process of change, for both student and teacher. In embarking on this task of building The Academy into an antiracist institution, we hope to change the school so that the educational experience we offer can be a tool in beginning to chip away at systems of oppression that have remained consistent for centuries. And we hope that our entire community will join us in this process, inspired by the principles that have always animated us: joyful engagement, active citizenship, and the desire for justice for all peoples.
The Academy at Charlemont does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, ability, national origin, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation in its education, admissions, and financial aid policies, or in any other programs and policies administered by The Academy.