Knowing Better and Doing Better
June 8, 2020
Last week, Portland Adventist Academy made a statement regarding racial injustice.
We committed to stand against acts of racism and work to eradicate hate and violence. We committed to the safety of our students from racial hate and harm. We committed to educating ourselves and deepening our understanding so that we can make meaningful changes on our campus and in our hearts.
We begin this journey with sincere reflection.
“We recognize we have fallen short and we must do better,” says Principal Mechelle Peinado. “We are heartbroken and are deeply sorry for the pain and discrimination and exclusion that our minority students have experienced in our history. We believe Black Lives Matter. And we are determined to do better at eradicating hate.”
Here are the next steps.
– This Friday, Pastor Mackenzie and students will be doing an age-appropriate workshop on human rights where they will learn about all types of discrimination and how to eliminate hate and work against racism. The event is led by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.
– Next week, PAA teachers and staff will also meet with the OJMHE who will host a training on anti-racist education.
– This summer, the PAA staff has been asked to intentionally seek and use resources to further understand systemic discrimination and minority experiences so that when we return to school in the fall we will be better prepared to make lasting changes.
We’re building a foundation for harder work ahead.
– During the summer months, our administrators will be continuing a partnership with the OJMHC to make plans for further education and action. We will also work to understand PAA’s painful history so we can better protect those who experience racial discrimination and hate.
With this in mind, we ask for your honesty.
If you were ever a student at PAA who experienced or were impacted by racism in words or actions while in our care, we want to hear and understand your experience. We want you to know your experience matters. We commit to making changes and we desire to help heal the pain of our broken trust. We want to do better.
“We believe that we are called to be Christ’s hands and feet,” says Peinado. “We are committed to learning more, doing better, and loving better. Please join us.”
Principal, Mechelle Peinado
Vice Principal, Drechelle McCray
Reach us by phone at 503.255.8372
We invite our community to grow with us.
Here are four tangible actions you can begin today.
1) Pray. Seek Jesus as you work to understand racism. Learn with a Christ-centered heart.
2) Read. Find information that helps you better understand someone’s painful experience with racism.
3) Talk. Reach out to someone you trust who is willing to help you search your heart as you grow in understanding. Talk with someone who is on a different point in their own journey.
4) Be open and be safe. We are children of the King, brothers and sisters in Jesus. With this in mind, be open to others’ experiences. Be a presence of peace to those in pain. Be a safe friend.