Discovering a New America by Chris Whittle

The senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have deeply saddened America and our school community. These deaths follow a centuries-long list of such tragedies in the United States. The protests sweeping our country cry out for justice. Equally, these demonstrations are an outpouring of a broader despair and frustration about an American Dream that simply has not worked for millions of African Americans and other minority communities.

America was conceived as a nation where people could improve their situation with hard work and perseverance, where the next generation could do better, where all had a chance. The degree to which that dream is true has been debated for decades, and many would say it is less true today. The distance we must cross to achieve that ideal is vast and may well be growing. The proof points are many: the stagnation of wages for a generation, almost as many African American men in prison as in college, and a gap between rich and poor that has become a gaping chasm.

We, all of us, must discover and build a New America, one that comes closer to the American Dream we have long believed in—and that the world desires us to be. If the past has taught us something, that New America will be built more on the individual acts of its citizens than on legislation or programs. How we behave at home, in our neighborhoods, and in our classrooms; what and how we teach in our schools; how we form and run our businesses, large and small; how we cut the pie that we make; these small acts will be the warp and weft of a better America.

All of us at Whittle School & Studios have a special role to play in the finding and shaping of this New America and a New Generation. Our individual acts are watched, mirrored, and magnified by the young people entrusted to us. We have been granted a platform that can make a difference. Let us make sure that it does.

Chris Whittle

Chairman and CEO