Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on Campus
A recent Fisher Hall Art Gallery show featured photography of the 2020 racial justice protests by Flo Ngala '13 and Julian Silverman '22.
There is a great deal of activity on campus focused on creating formal and informal moments for the discussion of race and the identification of action-oriented outcomes.
Listed below are some of the school's numerous recent initiatives in the areas of anti-racism, racial literacy, institutional racism, and privilege:
- The creation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, a group charged with collecting data and information from curricular, policy, and practice standpoints, with the goal of establishing a five-year plan aimed at guiding HM’s DEI work under specific goals and timelines. The committee is comprised of a member of the Board of Trustees, the Head of School, all four Division Heads, one designated DEI committee chair from each of the school's four divisions, and staff from HM’s Office of Identity, Culture, and Institutional Equity (ICIE).
- Professional development days for all faculty and staff focused on anti-racism, racial literacy, institutional racism, and privilege, including a day-long workshop in September 2020 featuring keynote speaker Robin DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk About Racism.”
- A monthly speaker series on topics related to the history of race and ethnicity in America, sponsored by the Upper Division History Department. This initiative was proposed by the Horace Mann student representatives of Black Students Demanding Change (BSDC), a student-led organization that advocates for racially equitable reform in private schools, who have been actively engaged in dialogue and work with the Head of School and Administrative Council since the summer of 2020.
- A series of six faculty equity workshops sponsored by ICIE during the 2020-2021 academic year called "Equity Chats," with additional opportunities for faculty to benefit from coaching on specific equity competencies.
- The HM STEPS program (Students Together Empowering People of Color Successfully), now in its fourth year, has grown dramatically. The program provides peer mentoring and affinity-based support for students of color in the Middle and Upper Divisions. STEPS is currently expanding its program to the Lower Division.
- Parent engagement sessions (three per year) focused on race, racism, and effective allyship.
- A Latinx STEAM initiative striving to connect female students interested in science, technology, engineering, art, and math with HM alumnae mentors.
- School-wide assemblies on institutional racism, inequities in the criminal justice system, and the effect of the ongoing pandemic on marginalized communities. A recent guest was Wesley Caines, Chief of Staff of the Bronx Defenders, who advocates for criminal justice reform.
- The Head of School’s commitment that “candidates of color [be] in the final round of all job searches.” This commitment has been a top priority of the school’s hiring process.
- HM Parent Institute workshops, including a recent event with Julie Lynthcott-Haimes, author of “How to Raise an Adult and Real American: A Memoir,” focusing on discrimination and racism.
- A Google Meet webinar featuring Dr. Crystal Feimster and Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on the Black Lives Matter movement from a historical perspective.
To read more about the work of the Office for Identity, Culture and Institutional Equity, including an Implementation and Impact Matrix Tracker highlighting our work with Black Students Demanding Change (BSDC) please visit: www.horacemann.org/our-school/office-for-identity-culture-and-institutional-equity