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About Us

Our Mission in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We acknowledge the fact of diversity as a vital source of Annie Wright Schools’ strong community. We recognize all identities as part of our diversity, including both under-represented and over-represented groups across ethnic, racial, and regional identities; language and learning profiles; religious and political beliefs; socioeconomic and family make-ups; and gender and sexual identities. Among our community, we cultivate shared rights and mutual stewardship.  
 
We safeguard individual identities by recognizing that diversity alone does not lead to inclusion. We strive to develop practices to ensure all members of our community have access to safe, equitable, and brave spaces. We welcome opportunities to challenge cultural assumptions of what is “normal” and to broaden our sense of identity; seeking to actively advance the culture of the institution by continually examining the tension between tradition and transformation.
 
We nurture responsible, global citizenry in a pluralistic and rapidly changing world by encouraging and being willing to respectfully engage courageous conversations. We purposefully examine cultural distinctions and implications across programmatic and curricular practices. As an institution, we seek to practice on-going, reflective learning processes, including routine practices of self and community care.
 
The practices named above extend through all facets of our community, including but not limited to organizational structures such as institutional leadership, recruitment, admissions, hiring and retention; educational spaces such as curricular and extracurricular programming; as well as community partnerships and communications.

Strategic Plan for Diversity

The Strategic Plan for Diversity was adopted in early 2019. The plan outlines a vision for supporting all members of the Annie Wright Schools community and for developing robust Diversity, Inclusion and Equity programming. There are four general areas of attention, each with specific initiatives, components, and performance measures.

List of 4 items.

  • Professional Development

    Annie Wright will provide training in diversity, inclusivity, and multicultural education for faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • Teaching & Curriculum

    Annie Wright will review its curriculum to ensure that it reflects and promotes the diversity of the community.
  • Recruitment, Support & Retention of a Diverse Board, Faculty & Staff

    Annie Wright will strive to create a Faculty & Staff that reflects the diversity of its student body.
  • Reflection

    Annie Wright commits to continuous engagement in reflection on diversity, inclusivity, and multicultural education.

Moving Important Work Forward Through DEI Subcommittees

Now more than ever, Annie Wright Schools must reaffirm its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our goal is to be a community in which everyone feels included. In order for this to happen, we must put ourselves consistently and with conviction in to the work itself, utilizing a system to evaluate, respond to and reflect on school culture and practice.
 
The system starts with the formation of “subcommittees.”  Led by members of Annie Wright Schools' DEI Working Group (founded in 2015 as the DEI Curriculum & Practice Group), these subcommittees focus on a chosen area of interest or need. They work throughout a pre-determined time frame and produce concrete deliverables. Participation in the subcommittees is open to faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and, when appropriate, students and parents. Every semester, certain subcommittees conclude while new subcommittees launch.
 
There is, however, one more critical component. The Working Group is designing a short, quarterly “pulse check” that asks AWS community members to share their lived experience. Responses to this survey provide feedback on our community culture and help give direction to future subcommittees. In this way, we have a mechanism that perpetually reinforms us about ourselves. As AWS grows and changes, and as our community grows and changes, such a system will allow us to be responsive, intentional, and directed. 
 
The DEI Working Group not only developed the approach, they also designed the first seven subcommittees listed below. Working with committed and convicted community members is energizing. It is also impactful. While we recognize that time is in short supply, we hope this model is flexible enough that all members of our community will find a way to meaningfully contribute and advance our DEI effort. Ensuring the Diversity Statement is woven into our institutional fabric feels like a great way to nurture that very community. 
 
If you are interested in joining a subcommittee, please let us know .

DEI Sub-Committees

List of 7 items.

  • Affinity Spaces

    Define, build, launch, and support spaces designed for shared identities to support, uplift, and encourage each other. This subcommittee will run through the third quarter (January 25, 2021 to March 26, 2021) of this academic year with the goal of establishing active affinity groups across divisions by the end of the school year, if not before. 
  • Assessment & Progress

    Define appropriate metrics, develop a mechanism for assessing progress, and create a dashboard for constituents to review ongoing progress against defined metrics. This subcommittee will conclude at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. 
  • Completing our History

    Some stories and figures of AWS' history are well known and celebrated. Who and what is missing? What questions should we be asking about the AWS DEI journey which began in the Gilded Age, spanned through reconstruction and desegregation? This subcommittee will conclude at the end of the first semester (January 22, 2021), and is explicitly designed for student involvement (among other constituents). 
  • Curricular Examination

    Divisional faculty will examine curriculum and pedagogy through DEI lens and learning standards. This subcommittee will conclude at the end of the 2020-2021 school year and is tasked with identifying the 2021-2022 iteration of curricular assessment. This committee is for AWS faculty only.
  • Listening & Learning

    Consider and propose what engagement with and across constituents (students, alums, and others) can and should look like to best understand the experience of culture and climate at AWS. This subcommittee will conclude at the end of the first semester (January 22, 2021). 
  • Recruiting & Hiring

    Consider, research, and design approaches to growing, retaining, and supporting a diverse staff, faculty, and leadership.  The time frame of this subcommittee is ongoing.
  • Traditions vs. Assimilation

    Examine Annie Wright Schools' traditions to ensure each stand for our stated values and intentions, not just for the sake of "history." This subcommittee will launch and run through the second semester.

AWS DEI Working Group

The founding members of Annie Wright Schools' DEI Working Group draw from a committed group of faculty and staff. Thank you to:
  • Grace Finch
  • Tracey Golding
  • Annie Green
  • Ambalila Hemsell
  • Scottie Hill
  • Lucy Iwamoto
  • Alicia Mathurin 
  • Bridgette O'Brien
  • Jamie Parrott
  • William Wilde
  • Jeremy Stubbs
  • Arianne Zwartjes