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Diversity

Brentwood is intent, purposeful, and strategic about being a school that honors people in all their differences. Not only is that reflected in Diversity as a core value, but a separate Diversity Mission Statement has been crafted in order to emphasize this important commitment by the school. My role is to ensure that equity and inclusion is a component of everything we do.

Equity is being conscious and cognitive of our efforts to best meet the needs of all members of our community. Inclusion is creating an environment where all participants and constituents can be their best selves, irrespective of background, experience and lifestyle. We do this with a variety of measures, policies and programs. We do this through our curriculum in what we teach and how we teach it. We are both motivated and inspired to be members of a vibrant community that recognizes that diversity is advantageous now and in the future. We work together as students, parents, faculty and administration to maintain an inclusive community. We are passionate about what we as a community can do together.

To find out more about diversity, equity and inclusion at Brentwood or find out how you can be connected and involved, please contact me.

Dr. Trina Moore-Southall
Director of Equity and Inclusion
(310) 889-2601
tsouthall@bwscampus.com

Diversity Council

The Diversity Council is a committee comprised of faculty, staff and administrative representatives from throughout the school. It is chaired by the Director of Equity and Inclusion. The council is reflective of Brentwood’s commitment to diversity and it serves to be directly involved in change-based work in the school community.

Staff Members
Elisabeth Abarbanel, Head Librarian
Amelia Hollis, Assistant to the Head of School

Upper School
Asako Kurosaka-Jost, American Sign Language & Newspaper
Dr.Tamara Miller, Academic Dean
Fred Rible, Mathematics
John-Kevin Hilbert, Music
Seulghee Lee, English

Middle School
Jonah Blumstein, Music
Cameron Coleman, Mathematics

Lower School
Tina Evans, Fourth Grade
Ellie Novaes, Physical Education
Teri Goldman, Learning Specialist

Student Diversity Council

The Student Diversity Council is comprised of students who represent the various affinity groups on campus.

Student Affinity Clubs

The following is a list of Brentwood School Affinity Clubs. While the activities and meeting frequencies of each club may differ, the common goal is to enhance awareness, create cohesion, and help promote a positive sense of self among members and allies.

lower school
Crayon Lunch Club Tamyra Fuller
middle school
Asian Student Association (ASA) Manoj Choudhry, Radhika Khandelwal, Hilda Leung, and Van Anh Tran
Black Student Association (BSA) Jake Ford
Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)

Sarah Greenleaf, Debora Acciarito, Nicole Ryan

Latino Student Association (LSA) Ignacio Gonzalez
Persian Student Association (PSA) Rana Hakhamimi
Upper school
Asian Student Association (ASA) Cristina Macaraeg, Drew Park
Black Student Association (BSA) Alexis Harrell
Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Asako Kurosaka-Jost, Eric Sherman
Girl Impact Sarah Bishop
Latino Student Association (LSA) Elena Cardenas, Esther Marron, and Harold Pleitez-Guerra
Persian Student Association (PSA) Rana Hakhamimi

Family Associations

Asian Family Association
Black Family Association
Pride Project (formerly GSA)
Latino Family Association (El Nido)
Parent Alliance of Students of African Descent (PASA)
Single Parent Affinity Group


Login to view contact information for Parent Affinity Group Representatives.

Affiliations

Brentwood is a sponsor of SoCalPOCIS (Southern California People of Color in Independent Schools) Learn more about SoCalPOCIS.




Brentwood is an annual participant in NAIS POCC (People of Color Conference) and SDLC (Student Diversity Leadership Conference)

Special Events

Below is a sampling of events that our various Affinity Groups sponsor or participate in:

Diwali Lunch
Dia de los Muertos Lunch
Kyonggi Student Visit to Brentwood Lower School
Celebrating Diversity: The Power of Personal Stories
Annual African American Read-In
Pride Project “GayLA” Dance
Crayon Club

Diversity News

by Dr. Trina Moore-Southall, Director of Equity and Inclusion

On Tuesday, January 17, our Middle and Upper School students and faculty were invited to virtually sit at a table with Civil Rights Icon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students experienced video footage and photographs of Dr. King and other other civil rights activists projecting through the screen as Dr. King's voice spoke of standing up for justice, being tired but still persistent, and of course, his dream for an equitable America. A national touring company, At the Table with Dr. King, travels across the country to challenge students to think about their calling, responsibility and accountability in doing what is ethical and just. We experienced a dramatic portrayal of Martin Luther King reciting a poem. Jazz and gospel music told powerful stories of challenge, resistance, and triumph. Students were invited to participate as mock protesters who held up signs for equal pay, desegregation, women's rights, and education. We sang along to "Lean on Me" and we were moved as we listened to Mahalia Jackson's rendition of "Precious Lord". We saw photos of high school students who were volunteering in various capacities to serve others. This was a lesson in American history and a theatrical and musical experience. It was an embrace and celebration of Brentwood's core values.

Middle School students used their advisory time the following day to process their individual and collective benefits from the Civil Rights Movement. Students were asked to write or illustrate one way they personally will act to ensure that the work of Dr. King keeps moving forward. They then shared anything that they can do to create a more just and merciful world for humanity. Their ideas were written on paper footprints to communicate how we are to keep moving.

Discussions in upper school advisories posed questions such as: What did they take away with them from yesterday? What about Dr. King's message resonates with them, and what do they admire about him personally? In what ways has our society progressed since the Civil Rights Era and in what areas do we still have many opportunities for improvement? What are a couple of issues that matter to them and how can they contribute?

A focus of the assembly was the significance of the youth voice. Organizations such as SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and the Freedom Riders relied on young people to be involved and engaged. The message was made clear that there is an inherent responsibility for civil rights in our world today.

Read more

by Trina Moore-Southall, Director of Equity and Inclusion

Each year, Brentwood sponsors a group of selected student leaders in the community to attend the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC). Sophia H., Janis L., Max W., Hanna N., Addy T. (pictured, left to right) traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to join 1,600 other students across the country for three days of inspiration and motivation in the areas of identity development, equity, diversity, and social justice. A highlight of the conference was the opening ceremony, which featured Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative. He encouraged students to get close to injustice, change the narratives behind the problems we face, stay hopeful, and be uncomfortable in order for justice to prevail...

Read more

by Asako Kurosaka-Jost, Pride Project Coordinator, and Lee Wind, GSA Parent Lead

Chocolate cupcakes, Pocky cookies, mac n cheese, California rolls, and fried chicken spread across the buffet table as kids and adults laughed and mingled, trying to navigate their way through an ice breaker game. In our biggest gathering of LGBTQ students, families, and allies to date, the Gay Straight Alliance Family Potluck filled the East Campus Student Life Center with music, food, and a mission-filled sense of unity...

Read more

THE DIVERSITY COUNCIL IS PLEASED TO PRESENT THE BRENTWOOD SCHOOL DIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT:

Brentwood School embraces diversity and inclusivity as essential to a full education, and is committed to creating an environment that fosters openness and acceptance. The school recognizes multiple dimensions of culture, including but not limited to: age, ethnicity, family structure, gender identity, geographic origins, multiple learning styles, political views, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

We are committed to weaving diversity into the fabric of who we are, what we do, and what we value. We aim to engage mindfully in open and frequent dialogues to ensure that each member of the community is valued, included, and respected.

Upcoming Events

Parent Affinity Group Meeting
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LS Black History Month Kickoff
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6th Annual African-American Read-in
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Celebrating Diversity: The Power of Personal Stories
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US Black History Month Assembly & BSA Lunch
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