Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative
Please follow our discussion on the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative.
Dear Community Member,
We would like to thank you for the many encouraging responses we have received so far about Flintridge Prep’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative, announced on June 18. Your voices inspire our intentional, purposeful, and immediate commitment to this important work: to ensure that Prep stands up against racism and makes our campus a place where everyone feels truly welcome walking through the gates.
As we embark on this initiative, we are grateful that veteran Prep trustee Carol Ramsey will be serving as the chair of the Board DEI initiative committee. Carol's professional career has been spent in the fields of education and philanthropy, with significant experience and special emphasis on organizational management, program development, and board governance. (For more about Carol, please see below.) Assistant Head for Student Life Vanessa Walker-Oakes and Assistant Head for Academic Life Sarah Cooper will be the administrative leads, working closely with Head of School Jim Pickett. Last month both Sarah and Vanessa, accompanied by several Prep faculty members, attended the Glasgow Group’s National Diversity Practitioners Institute, an intensive conference focusing on creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive independent schools. In addition, all Prep faculty and staff will begin the school year with an anti-bias workshop presented by Elizabeth Denevi, director of East Ed, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting diversity and equity in schools, and co-founder of Teaching While White. Such work builds on the professional growth experiences of more than a quarter of Prep’s faculty over the past year in topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and is a critical next step on our journey.
Many thanks to those of you who have already expressed interest in being part of this initiative. If you would like to volunteer to be a member of, or nominate someone else for, our working committee, please fill out the Google Form below by Wednesday, July 29. We anticipate that this committee will meet frequently throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. Community members who are not on the committee will have ample opportunities for input through forums such as focus groups, town hall meetings, surveys, and other conversations.
In August we will send our next update, once we have created the structure of the multi-constituency working committee. We look forward to continuing this crucial dialogue with all of you over the months and years to come.
Head of School
Chair, Board DEI Initiative Committee
Assistant Head for Academic Life
Assistant Head for Student Life
Dear Prep Community,
As we witness the continuing traumas wrought by a global pandemic, institutional racism, and police brutality against Black Americans, traumas that demand our responsiveness and commitment to change, we, like you, are called to action.
It is clear that we have not talked enough about racism and its insidious effect on our relationships and progress. And, without education, without encouragement and support, without action, we cannot achieve the essential and commonly held values of fairness, justice, and equality.
Guided and informed by your many letters, comments, petitions, and requests, we are committed to addressing racism with honesty and intentionality. And, while this work will take time and commitment from all of us, the school’s administration and trustees will take these immediate steps:
- We will create a comprehensive action plan to address diversity, equity, and inclusion that we will share with the entire Prep community. We will engage all constituencies in this process, and hold ourselves accountable, transparently sharing with the community discernible goals, measurable outcomes, successes, and failures. We will issue our first progress update in August.
- We will create two committees: a Board oversight committee and a committee that includes faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni to develop this action plan for our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative.
- We will commit to a comprehensive review of our curriculum, programs, and practices with the intent of creating an anti-racist environment that promotes a culture of inclusion for all people of color.
- We will introduce opportunities for anti-bias teaching and learning that encourage the open exchange of truth, facts, and perspectives.
- We will expand community-wide programs, including campus speakers, faculty professional growth, and cross-constituency education that fosters and strengthens empathy for all students, employees, and our extended community.
- We will reframe our hiring process to focus on recruiting and retaining a greater diversity of faculty and staff.
- We will expand our current initiative to prioritize racial diversity in admissions and financial aid.
We will live by our mission and honor code: Through honest, kind, generous, and respectful learning, examination, and practice, we will make our school—and by extension, all those we encounter—part of the solution to end ignominy, injustice, and hate.
We call on all of you to join us as we commit to this important work. We must all—individually and collectively—teach and learn with the compassion and belonging that are the values of our school. We look forward to your collaboration, participation, and cooperation.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Incoming Head of School
Incoming Chair, Board of Trustees
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