Open Letter from Hackley Board Presidents

As the outgoing and incoming Presidents of the Board, we write on behalf of the alumni, current parents, and parents of alumni who comprise Hackley’s Board of Trustees, to acknowledge the work our nation and school must do to fight racial inequity and injustice.

The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor reignited crucial and long-overdue conversations in our country and school on race and systemic racism. The pain and the anger are real, they are powerful, and they are justified. These tragedies and subsequent protests have focused our collective attention on the efforts required to realize the promise of our nation, one aspect of which we acknowledge tomorrow on Juneteenth. The Board, alongside the head of school and school leadership, states unequivocally that Black lives matter, our Black students and families, our Black employees, and our Black alumni matter and all are deserving of the community’s unqualified support and our unreserved effort to make lasting change.

As we listen to the Hackley community, those on the Hilltop now and those who have come before, we recognize that our efforts must extend beyond support. Further conversations and actions are required at every level, and they must be visible and sustained. These efforts begin with continued honest evaluation and self-reflection by the school community and its leadership, including the Board of Trustees. We need to ensure that a diversity of voices, experiences, and perspectives are found at every level of the school and throughout our program. Furthermore, Hackley must remain engaged in the critical work required to gain insights on race and racism, creating a more sophisticated understanding of essential anti-racist practices. This work is mission-driven and integral to strengthening our community.

We want our community to "demonstrate the personal courage to attempt new things, the intellectual courage to consider new ideas, and the moral courage to stand for matters of principle." These are difficult conversations, but ones we must engage in to bring about lasting change. As moral fiduciaries, we support the head of school and school leadership in their efforts to prioritize and advance this work and we stand ready to continue to engage in this work as a Board. An enduring education, one worthy of our mission and core values, requires nothing less.


John C. Canoni ’86, P’20
Outgoing Board President

H. Rodgin Cohen P’08
Incoming Board President