A Message from Diversity Consultant Rev. Marlowe Washington
Dear Members of the Brighton Community,
As you have heard and know about from Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan’s letter this summer, efforts have been underway in order to create stronger bonds of community that lessen tensions of every human person regardless of race, nationality, ethnic group, sexuality, gender, religion, socioeconomic class, immigration status, or anything else in Brighton schools. Although structural racism is a reality in our community, I am pleased to say the leadership of the Brighton Central School District (BCSD) is not hiding this reality and has decided to continue focusing on this important work. Please join Dr. McGowan, members of the Board of Education, and the entire District family to be the healing that overcomes challenges in the area of diversity and equity for all.
Hello! My name is Rev. Marlowe V.N. Washington. I prefer if you call me Pastor Marlowe or just Marlowe as I begin this journey as the District’s Diversity Consultant for the 2018-19 academic year. Presently, I serve as pastor of Seneca United Methodist Church in Irondequoit. What I really want you to know is that I am a proud father of a Brighton High graduate (Class of 2014). I am sincerely humbled by this appointment and excited to be working with you.
In addition to serving the pulpit for 25 years, I have 11 years in the field of diversity and inclusion under assignment from the Rochester City School District, Roberts Wesleyan College, and currently with Keuka College to name a few. I have a doctorate in ministry (transformational leadership) from Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College, and I anticipate receiving a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College’s Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education in December. I am an adjunct professor in religion and philosophy at Roberts Wesleyan College and a trustee at Keuka College where I also advise the Board of Trustees’ Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee.
In an age of unprecedented division and growing fractures in the human family, BCSD is taking the lead in making significant improvements in becoming a more inclusive environment. This work is not new for the District as they actively formed a Diversity and Equity Committee last year and have long been committed to this work. The District’s Blueprint plan included this as a priority last year and it remains a priority this year. The plans affirm the transcendent dignity and worth of every human person, particularly our students and their families, teachers, and staff. As part of the plan, we will be working on hiring practices, family engagement, special education, and providing feedback on discipline practices.
I am excited to begin facilitating the Diversity and Equity Committee that will meet a minimum of four times during the academic year. Prior to several Committee meetings, we will host “Be the Healing” sessions.
“Be the Healing” sessions are community forums designed to allow your voice to feed the Diversity and Equity Committee’s work. At the same time, you will hear both the intended progress and implementations of the Diversity and Equity Committee. Our first “Be the Healing” session will be on Thursday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Administration Building Board Room, 2035 Monroe Ave.
Along with my role facilitating the Diversity and Equity Committee, I will also work as a co-advisor with Brighton High’s Black Student Union, under the leadership of advisor Amy Maloy.
Lastly, I want to hear from you. I will be meeting confidentially with all members of the District (students, parents, teachers, staff, and community stakeholders) in a private capacity to hear your concerns (my contact information is below).
In a commitment to diversity, BCSD has made community central to the life of its academic mission, and we want all members, regardless of background, to feel welcome and included in Brighton. I look forward to hearing from you. Working and bonding with you will be humbling indeed as we strive to make Brighton a better community.
Rev. Marlowe V.N. Washington, D. Min.