Affinity Groups offer spaces for people from specific self-identity affinities to gather where they make up the majority; we currently have 12 at WA. In these circles, they share community, hold discussions, support one another and observe affinity-centered celebrations in camaraderie.
Ally Groups give students a shared connection to show their support for, and actively take action and support on behalf of community members with a different (and often marginalized) identity.
Major Programs and Events
Faculty Cultural Awareness for Everyone (CAFE) Seminars are held at various times in the school year to give faculty the opportunity to explore specific diversity, equity, and inclusion topics with students more deeply and build community.
Celebrating Diversity - The Upper School and middle school both take a day in the spring to focus on the various ways that diversity manifests in the WA community and beyond. Internal and external community partners, experts, and presenters come to campus to engage the WA community in a day of dynamic, interactive, pluralistic education and celebration.
Heritage Months – Acknowledge and celebrate national heritage months. Community emails create awareness and educate. With engagement from the Diversity Committees and other campus constituents, we create Heritage Month programming.
MLK Day All-School Celebration and Reception –engage members from across the campus community, with presentation, education, art, and a strong student voice upholding social justice and highlighting the civil rights legacy at WA. The reception brings internal and external community members together in camaraderie, and is a pointed networking opportunity for our students.
DEI Discussion Series, “Table Talk” - this facilitated dialogue series, focuses learning and enrichment in the area of DEI, on various topics through presentations/articles/workshops, and more.
National and Regional Student Diversity Conferences give students the opportunity to connect with students from diverse backgrounds who attend other independent schools from across the United States and New England. Conferences allow students to stretch outside of their WA community, meet new people, and explore and challenge themselves with new and different learning experiences.
Diversity Committees The Upper School and Middle School diversity leadership Committees partner with one another and create meaningful programs and events that provide DEI engagement and learning opportunities for the WA community, including support for Diversity Days, MLK celebrations, social and emotional Learning, heritage month acknowledgement, social justice and sustainability, affinity groups, and opportunities to network with the faculty and staff Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Equity and Inclusion Faculty and Staff Committee As chair of this faculty and staff Committee, I have strategically aligned its agenda and work to support the efforts of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Diversity Committees and the Strategic Plan DEI Implementation Committee, to influence programs and initiatives, policy, the curriculum, social and emotional learning, sustainability, community cultural climate. It is a space for WA employees to discuss current topics, issues and trends, and best practices that develop pathways that support, respect, and honor students’ and each other’s identities. The Committee focus always circles back to identity, culture, and community, grounding the foundational work for building DEI structures.
Strategic Plan DEI Implementation Committee
Provides insight, best practice, and data, to engage and champion the vision and planning of integrated equity and inclusion initiatives, across every area of the strategic plan. The foundational actionable goals are as follows:
- Assessment tied to each strategic area
- Each area will have an operational plan that aligns with the Institutional plan
The Strategic Plan DEI Implementation Committee articulates and documents a shared understanding of language, initiatives and policies that encapsulate the Inclusive Excellence Model, in supporting DEI structures.