July 9, 2020

Announcing an Alumni Task Force on the BIPOC Experience at Oakwood

Dear Alumni,

We’ve received many emails, calls, and texts from alums over the past few weeks, many of whom are understandably concerned about the stories posted across social media recently by both current students and graduates. Many of you have shared your own important Oakwood experiences and relevant stories with friends and fellow alums.

Obviously, this is a great opportunity for deep reflection and a chance to build bridges towards an even more inclusive community. Through our discussions with Oakwood’s leadership, we know that there’s been a significant amount of listening happening. This is a time to hear the voices that are expressing genuine feelings about consequential issues. As a community, we recognize the magnitude of these racial injustices and the feelings of alienation and pain they have brought to our alumni who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This is a critical moment to acknowledge these challenges and commit to the difficult work that must be done. And now is the time for action, which is why we’re reaching out today.

Alumni have a more intimate understanding of the Oakwood community and culture than any other group. We are asking that you consider becoming an active part of these ongoing conversations, helping to collaboratively develop calls-to-action and serve as agents of change for the place that many of us care deeply about. This is work that absolutely requires meaningful alumni participation from not just recent graduates, but also from alums from across the decades. This isn’t work that will happen overnight, but with your support and engagement, it will happen.

Today, we’re announcing the establishment of an Alumni Task Force on the BIPOC experience at Oakwood, led by our Alumni Council Vice-Chair, Treani Swain ’03. This group will work closely with its student counterpart at Oakwood, a group that will carry forth the movement the BlackAtOakwood account has inspired. Together, these two groups will ensure that BIPOC alumni and student voices are louder and more prominent throughout our community. These groups will also work closely with Oakwood’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion teams to create more opportunities for diverse and collaborative leadership, extensive resources, and meaningful action.

Jaime recently shared with our community initiatives and actions that are currently being developed by the Board, School, and Parent Organization DEI Committees and our Alumni Council. This task force will greatly benefit from your diverse perspectives, and your participation will inevitably help to facilitate the ideas that are born of these conversations.

We know that many alumni think of and remember Oakwood fondly, so we hope that we can work together to make this community one that all students and alumni are proud to be a part of where everyone knows that their voices matter.

Please click here to let us know if you’re interested in joining the BIPOC Alumni Task Force or if you would like further information. Thanks in advance for your partnership, and we look forward to sharing more soon.


Zach Suchin ’02, Alumni Council Chair
Treani Swain ’03, Alumni Council Vice-Chair
Christie Guevara, Director of Alumni Relations