On January 11, Yale Law Professor Tracey Meares P22 spoke to the Dana Hall community during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation.
Community, Equity and Inclusion
Community, Equity, and Inclusion are central to the Dana Hall experience. Our mission requires ongoing collective effort, strategic planning, reflection, and deep listening to members of our community. In doing so, we create space for complex and dynamic conversations, resulting in actions that address the challenges and rewards of an equitable and inclusive educational experience.
Our work is guided by the standards of the NAIS Principles of Good Practice- Equity and Justice. This journey is a relentless pursuit of excellence in education, which means growth and social progress. Diverse perspectives and representation are fundamental to excellent education. We continue to work on our capacity to create a school where all students, families, and employees thrive.
If you are looking to learn more, please feel free to read through our work with Diversity Directions and what we are doing at the institutional level. Take a look at our student-led programs and explore how we celebrate and honor our community. You can learn more about how we define Community, Equity and Inclusion. See how our amazing faculty continue to build their skills and how families get involved. Get to know why and how we are deepening our work.
With courage and humility, we move towards our goal of equipping our community with the knowledge and skills for an increasingly diverse, complex, and challenging world.Rachel L. Nagler
Director of Community, Equity, and Inclusion
Spotlight on: Families of Students of Color Collaborative
FSCC meets throughout the year for food, conversation, resource sharing, and community.
The purpose of the FSCC is to support Dana Hall in its efforts to become a more inclusive community. To this end, all parents/guardians of current students of color interested in community, equity, and inclusion are encouraged to participate; our hope is that parents/guardians of students of color will find this an especially welcoming home-away-from-home.
Dana Hall offers a range of student-led culturally relevant clubs. Groups meet weekly or bi-weekly with a faculty advisor. Student affinity and alliance groups create a school environment that is responsive and supportive to students across many social identities. Affinity groups serve students who share a specific identity in service of finding commonalities, differences, support and connection. Alliance groups focus on a specific social identity, but are open to all invested in collaboration. Both serve an important purpose to ensure a healthy climate in a diverse school community.
The Comparative Politics class’s virtual guest speaker series features three alum speakers this fall.
In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, the Dana Hall community welcomed Dr. Sarah-SoonLing Blackburn.
Recently, the Health & Wellness Committee hosted Dr. Holly Hinderlie and Jessy Molina who presented to both students and parents on racial identity development.
AWARE (Association of White Anti-Racist Educators)
AWARE provides the opportunity to engage in anti-racist work at Dana Hall School. The invitation is directed to White people in our community so that, as White people, we can directly address our significant role in perpetuating and dismantling systemic racism. All Dana Hall employees who identify as White are invited and encouraged to engage in AWARE. This work may help members identify new "tools" for their anti-racist toolkit that they can use in their work at Dana Hall and beyond.
Goals of AWARE:
- To build a strong community of anti-racist adults at Dana Hall School who are committed to supporting and holding each other accountable in furthering their anti-racist work.
- To identify tangible steps adults at Dana Hall can take to dismantle systemic racism in classrooms and across the broader community.
- To establish a sense of urgency and confidence in members' work as anti-racist individuals.
FOCUS (Faculty of Color United in Support)
FOCUS exists as a space to build community and support for faculty and staff who identify as people of color and recognize some of the challenges as a person of color navigating a predominantly white institution (PWI).
Faculty and staff regularly participate in professional development that is focused on Equity and Inclusion work, including the National Association of Independent Schools' People of Color Conference, AISNE DEI conference, National Anti-Racist Teach In and Diversity Directions.
When a young person sees others out there making a difference in their own communities, that alone can be the catalyst needed to launch him/her/them into a life of advocacy and activism.
Throughout my life, I have had firsthand experience of being excluded from certain groups, so welcoming people to the community is really important to me. When I’m walking around Dana Hall’s campus, I smile and say a friendly hello to the new and returning students, faculty, and staff as I pass by them on the sidewalk every day.
On a given day, I might interview a nine-year-old from a neighboring town interested in our fifth-grade program, a fourteen-year-old from New York City entertaining boarding school as an option for her high school years or a sixteen-year-old from Mexico hoping to immerse herself in the American culture. Meeting each individual where she is and learning more about her academically and personally is my goal.
The Community, Equity & Inclusion Committee, or CEI Committee, has accountability at the foundation of its mission in assisting Dana Hall School leadership as they proactively expand diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism (DEIA) efforts that impact students, staff, faculty and other members of the school community.
Moving forward, the Committee will:
- Provide Dana Hall School Trustees education that addresses the complex interdependence of racism, privilege, and economic systems of oppression in the ongoing history of predominantly white institutions (PWI).
- Establish and reinforce a strong expectation of Trustees to participate in educational opportunities that expand their capacity to optimally support Board leadership and assist school leadership with accountability in advancing diversity equity, inclusion, and antiracism at Dana Hall School.
- Occasionally identify and suggest or arrange educational opportunities that expand the capacity of the Trustees to optimally support board leadership and assist school leadership with accountability in advancing diversity equity, inclusion, and antiracism at Dana Hall School.
- Provide and update information about the Board of Trustees’ composition, experience and commitment to CEI on the Dana Hall School Website, and other communications platforms as appropriate, to improve transparency as regards Board of Trustees leadership and capacity in areas of CEI.
- Include on the Board of Trustees self-evaluation a permanent section that elicits feedback on how the Board is fulfilling its DEIA goals as aligned with the Inclusion and Diversity Statement.
- Frame and determine the resource needs that will enable the Head of School and staff to launch and maintain efforts that advance diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism.
- Identify opportunities for Trustees to engage a diverse spectrum of students and alumnae on occasion to improve their understanding of the Board of Trustees’ work and composition, and for the purpose of deepening the Board of Trustees’ exposure to the multiplicity of student experiences and shared community.
- Work with the Board’s Investment Committee on socially-responsible investing.
- Expand inclusiveness of board-hired vendors.