Rowland Hall celebrates and welcomes diversity. We believe that everyone benefits from exposure to a variety of lived experiences, and we have long been committed to the necessary work around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Rowland Hall represents a diverse community that encompasses differences in the human experience including those of ethnicity, race, national origin, family composition, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and learning styles, among others.
As part of our strategic plan and accreditation work during the 2002–2003 school year, Rowland Hall identified the need for a diversity plan and put into place a list of action items to give the administration direction on specific areas in which to work. By 2008, our Board of Trustees had confirmed our first formal diversity mission statement, which was combined with a formal diversity plan in 2010. Over time, we have put into place traditions, practices, and policies that support justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) including:
- Formalizing an Inclusion and Equity Committee (2008), now called the JEDI Committee
- Establishing the Dinner and Dialogues series (2010)
- Beginning our annual attendance at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Student Diversity Leadership Conference (2012)
- Hiring a director of ethical education (2015)
- Adding positive racial identity to curriculum (2015)
- Establishing a professional growth focus on inclusion and equity (2016)
- Initiating a JEDI component to new faculty/staff orientation (2016)
- Confirming support of and education on gender identities (2017)
- Creating the Board of Trustees’ Inclusion, Equity, and Outreach Committee (2019)
Beginning in 2017, we also began strategically shifting to a more explicit focus on action; we examined stereotype threats in teaching and learning, and provided professional development centered around cultural competency. These steps led to the identification of three priorities for Rowland Hall: furthering JEDI in curriculum and programs, exploring affinity groups, and increasing diversity by emphasizing faculty/staff racial diversity through hiring and retention practices and strategies. Support for these priorities continues today, with JEDI Committee members providing DEI leadership and the Board’s Inclusion, Equity, and Outreach Committee dedicating its first year to identifying and supporting strategic alignment and priorities on the principles of inclusion, equity, and outreach, in partnership with the JEDI Committee.
In June 2020, Rowland Hall faculty devoted professional-development time to hybrid learning around antiracist education. All faculty members worked in cross-divisional cohorts to strengthen their ability to support positive identity development in students, lead conversations around racial discrimination and privilege, and begin to evaluate curriculum through an antiracist lens, improving the experience of all students. A remarkable 97% of teachers identified this work as critical to their daily practice.
We acknowledge that all JEDI work identifies opportunities for further learning—this is a journey, not a destination—and at Rowland Hall, we are dedicated to this ongoing process of vulnerable learning and conversation.
An Invitation to Take Action
- Join a JEDI Committee. We offer groups for faculty and staff, students, and parents and caregivers.
- Attend Dinner and Dialogue meetings, offered 2–3 times a year.
- Educate yourself with antiracist books, articles, videos, and more: rowlandhall.org/inclusion-equity
- For community members of color: Students can apply to be part of Rowland Hall’s delegation at NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conferences and/or NWAIS Student Diversity Leadership Retreat; students, caregivers, faculty, and staff are invited to join or attend affinity groups; and faculty and staff are invited to apply to attend the NAIS People of Color Conference.
- For White faculty and staff: Join Rowland Hall’s antiracist book club and/or apply to attend the White Privilege Conference.
We also encourage parents and caregivers to seek out and follow Black/Brown nonprofit social media accounts like @theconsciouskid to help educate yourself; you can also visit @nmaahc’s website for a comprehensive Talking about Race web portal. And if you want to hear familiar voices give tips on talking to kids about race, listen to episode 1.03 of our princiPALS podcast.
COMMITMENT TO DEI WORK