Dear School Leaders,  

For 20 years, CalWest has worked with private and independent schools to build inclusive school communities. This week, we find ourselves looking toward the future, while painfully acknowledging the sadness, mourning, and systemic racism that have brought our nation to a moment of reckoning.

What We Recognize

CalWest stands in solidarity with those who are working to dismantle systemic racism. We mourn the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. We recognize that these victims reflect only a fraction of the problem and the daily threats faced by people like Christian Cooper, whose own life could have been cut short by a person of privilege invoking centuries of putting black bodies in harm’s way.  

Our Path Forward

Diverse educators, students, and staff at our schools are looking to your leadership. It is time for actions that go beyond discussion. Together, schools and their partners must reaffirm their commitment to creating diverse environments that hold up a deep and demonstrable commitment to inclusion. 

The hope, as always, lives with our young people. These students look to you to provide highly qualified, passionate, and empathetic professionals who strive to make sure that no one in the community is othered. Our young people who attend private and independent schools are not immune to the attitudes and practices that have brought us to this moment.

To support this, CalWest will continue to identify and advocate for candidates to serve as administrators and teachers at private and independent schools. Our candidate screening process remains focused on finding highly-qualified and competent educators who are:

  • Demonstrated, highly-skilled teachers and leaders

  • Engaged with teaching and learning through a multicultural lens

  • Empathetic to the needs and perspectives of all learners

  • Personally committed to the work of inclusion

Keep the Conversation Going

CalWest will also continue to educate schools on creating opportunities for inclusion, starting first in the boardroom and then in the classroom. In the coming weeks and months, you will hear more from CalWest about how we will carry this vital conversation forward into action.

For now, we invite you, our trusted and valued school partners, to start re-evaluating and measuring your inclusive school community efforts.  A school assembly to address issues of systemic racism and inequity can create awareness, but it does not address the root causes or the needs of students and parents. The time has come to catapult your school into an intentional space of building an inclusive school community.

We’ve created a list of questions to help your school go beyond awareness and begin a dialogue, which can be found here.

I know that I speak for the whole CalWest team when I say that, twenty years in, we remain committed to growing with you as we all evolve together.

LMM PoCC Headshot - December 2019

In Continued Solidarity & Peace, 


Lois Mufuka Martin
Vice President of Search and Consulting Services