On Thursday, July 29, 2021, alums and members of the Winsor community, including Head of School Sarah Pelmas, former Director of School Carolyn McClintock Peter, and former Director of Admission Pamela Parks McLaurin ‘71, P ‘12 came together virtually for a special and important moderated discussion about the experiences of African American students at The Winsor School from 1964 to 1996, including Winsor's first African American graduates from classes 1970 and 1971.
This event, created in partnership with Independent Trust, the network designed to build connections, engage, and support the professional goals of independent school alumni of color, was facilitated by Gloria Fernandez Tearte. Event attendees included: 1996 panelists Ellen Pinderhughes ‘71, Sidra Smith ‘88, and Des Allen ‘98. Additionally, panelist Pamela Parks McLaurin ‘71, P ‘12 shared recorded remarks after attendees viewed the 1996 video.
The video speaks to challenging moments in Winsor’s past, and we recognize that reliving those memories can be difficult for our alums of color, and seeing the Winsor experience in that light may cause others to reexamine their own experiences.
“To move forward in our critical DEI work, we must examine where we came from and how our history influences who we are as a school and community today; this video and the lived experiences of our alums are an important part of that history,” said Sarah Pelmas. “More importantly, reflecting on the past and how it influences our present can help us to continue to evolve to create greater equity and inclusion within our community.”
It was also announced during the evening that, thanks to the generosity of our Winsor community and a community-wide commitment to supporting our students, we have raised to date $230,000 for the Ana M. Fidalgo P ‘07, ‘14 Fund, allowing Winsor to endow this deeply meaningful scholarship specifically for Black students.
As promised, here is the recording of the event. Please note that we did not record the post-video discussion in order to foster a vibrant and honest conversation in real time, without the presence of cameras. We do want to recognize and acknowledge that there has been a misunderstanding and confusion around the release of the original video from the archives, and we sincerely apologize.
Through our continued work, we look forward to offering spaces for healing, reflecting, embracing, and empowering. Additionally, we look forward to planning a special forum for BIPOC alums.