A Personal Message From Greg Smith About Black Lives Matter

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  James Baldwin

Institutional racism must be faced.  We must strive daily to make today better than yesterday, and tomorrow better than today.  It is a life-and-death choice.  Black Lives Matter.

I speak frequently to students and their parents about the importance of three words: listen, risk, and model.  As ingrained as those words are in my lexicon, I need to face the value of each word more deeply in my personal life.  

I need to listen more deeply to the pain, suffering, and heartbreak of those victimized by racism.  I need to risk engaging in more uncomfortable conversations with those around me about my own white privilege and what I can do to help create a better tomorrow.  I need to model this listening and risk-taking for my family and my children. 

As part of my efforts to listen, I have begun to compile a list of resources filled with voices I need to attend to better.  I am deeply grateful to my staff and those at Billings Middle School for helping me start this list.  Please don’t hesitate to offer other voices that you feel I should include.

All the best,


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