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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

DEIB Vision Statement

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School aims to sustain a diverse and inclusive school community through purposeful initiatives built on a foundation of recognition, acceptance, and appreciation of all members of our community and a commitment to cultivating a true sense of belonging.

DEIB Mission Statement

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School develops and sustains a culture of mutual respect that embraces and celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion, cultivates a safe and transformative environment, and intentionally eliminates barriers to create a true sense of belonging for everyone. We welcome and honor every individual’s uniqueness, ideas, differences, talents, and experiences that make us who we are and will stand up to discrimination, harassment, or intimidation.



DEIB Committee Origins

In November 2021, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of a schoolwide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Committee comprised of students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni/ae, and Board representatives. This committee continues to meet to make further recommendations to ensure that a deep and abiding sense of belonging is felt by all members of our community. The Board of Trustees approved the following DEIB Vision and Mission Statements developed by the DEIB Committee.











November 2023 Meeting

The committee decided to review and assess the need for a DEIB constitution that may include but is not limited to a strategic plan, goals, responsibilities, term limits and selection process. In addition, how can we as a committee engage with different constituents including middle schoolers? The committee plans to research other schools’ constitutions and strategic plans to help inform its next meeting, which will be taking place in late January/ early February. 

The committee continued its conversations about how our school can support the continued conversations around the conflict in the Middle East. The committee settled on suggesting bringing in outside speakers to help create a forum style that can offer students a foundational understanding of the conflict. As a school, there is a responsibility to educate our students about current events in ways that reinforce brave spaces for students to learn, discuss and process. Conversations like these support the school’s mission, particularly: We provide an educational atmosphere characterized by academic challenge, rigorous inquiry, support for individual excellence, diversity, and a familial sense of community.

In reference to holiday decorations, the committee suggested the decorations must be both balanced (representing different cultures and holidays, especially during November and December) and rooted in education. When appropriate, decorations should be led by students.

October 2023 Meeting

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Committee, with the addition of new community members, met on October 21 to discuss goals and new initiatives. The schoolwide DEIB Committee includes W+H students, parents, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni.

Under the leadership of DEIB Coordinator Maxime Sinal, the committee convened on October 21 to introduce new members, address committee norms, set short-term and long-term goals, discuss what’s working well in all three divisions and in the alumni community through a DEIB lens, explore parent/adult affinity groups and talk about the events in Israel and Gaza.

Upcoming agenda items and initiatives to be addressed by the DEIB Committee later this fall include how holidays are celebrated and represented, neurodiversity, and governance of the committee’s process. 

October 2022 Meeting

On Sunday, October 16, the W+H DEIB Committee met to continue its work in support of the school's efforts in all areas relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Planning for a series of focus groups took place and three such groups will meet this fall. Each group will focus on an area of the school community in order to gather additional data about the lived experiences of community members. Slated to run this fall are groups devoted to discussions on: Student Life, Alumni Involvement and Investment, and Governance and Leadership. In late winter, a focus group will be convened to examine Teaching and Learning through a DEIB lens. The Committee is excited about this work and eager to utilize the information gained through these discussions to make additional recommendations to the school.







May 2022 Meeting
The DEIB Committee met on Sunday, May 22 to continue their work on making recommendations to the school for ways we can ensure that a deep and abiding sense of belonging is felt by all members of our community. At this meeting, results of the recent AIM (Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism) Survey were discussed and used to finalize recommendations. Our new webpage devoted to these and other efforts, including the work of our faculty and staff led DEIB facilitation teams, may be found on this webpage.

Looking ahead, members of the DEIB Committee will be planning a series of focus group meetings with members of all constituencies to take place in the fall.

March 2022 Meeting
Members of the W+H DEIB Committee met on March 6 for an afternoon of discussion and work on several important tasks. Representatives of the 15-member student subcommittee began the meeting by sharing their thoughts and specific recommendations for how the school can build on recent efforts to foster a deeper sense of belonging for all students. From there, the Committee moved into small groups to review drafts of DEIB vision and mission statements, then onto a preview of the newly-launched Assessment for Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) survey, and finally a session devoted to discussion and prioritization of initial actions the school can take in the area of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. It was a powerful and productive afternoon of collaboration and an integral next step in this important work.

School Wide DEIB Committee Members

Siddharth Bharadwaj ’24, Student
Christine Cerminaro, Staff
Jenn Geissler, Faculty
Natalie Chen ’26, Student 
Nia Clark ’25, Student 
Jinni Durham, Faculty
Mohisha Jha ’26, Student 
Shakti Jha, Parent
Vinay Karthik ’24, Student
Oliver Laskow ’25, Student
Karen Leach ’85, Alumna
Sachina Lyons-Brown ’89, Trustee/Alumna
Tiffany Maiga, Parent
Ayisha Mapp ’06, Alumna

Kayla Martel ’24, Student
Beth Mitchell, Parent
Melissa Morales, Parent
Paressa Naveed, Parent
Gbemi Olarewaju ’24, Student
Sodette Plunkett, Parent
Maxime Sinal, Faculty
Liz Stillman, Faculty
Kate Szczubelek, Trustee/Parent
Henna Tailor, Faculty
Luke Tan ’24, Student
April Terrell, Parent
Eileen Valentine, Staff

Professional Development:
Faculty and Staff
DEIB Facilitation Team

Mission Statement: To build a core group of faculty able to address the salient and troubling issues our students perceive around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The Team will assist in developing understanding and cultivating empathy for others' points of view. The Team will refresh, invigorate, and support faculty members and our students.

The W+H DEIB Faculty and Staff Facilitation Team was established in the Summer of 2021 as a volunteer group of faculty and staff to develop and lead ongoing professional development in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. At that time, the team began working with a consultant, Alvin Gilmore Jr., to establish a foundation for meaningful DEIB activities.  

The W+H faculty and staff are committed to being engaged in this work, and the Facilitation Team will continue to build upon discussions that have been taking place throughout the year to help support faculty and staff understanding of DEIB topics and issues.

Faculty / Staff Training Topics