Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Sometimes there is a misconception that diversity, equity, and inclusion is about certain ethnic groups, but that is not the case at Brentwood School. Our work impacts everyone.Every single person brings something unique to our community. Their background and personal experiences represent something different—a value added to our community. Students who experience the most diversity and multicultural curricula show the greatest engagement in active thinking processeses and growth in intellectual engagement motivation and intellectual academic skills. Our Office of Equity and Inclusion considers how we can best navigate our differences so that they can be shared and raised up throughout our school.
The Brentwood School community actively seeks diverse perspectives and embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential. We create an environment that fosters openness and appreciation of multiple dimensions of culture and identity. We aim to engage mindfully in open and frequent dialogues to ensure that each member is valued, included, and respected. Diversity is in the fabric of who we are.
Brentwood is intentional, purposeful, and strategic about honoring people in all their differences. Not only is that reflected in Diversity as a core value, but we have crafted a separate Diversity Mission Statement 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.
How do we put Equity and Inclusion into practice?
Equity is being conscious and cognitive of our efforts to best meet the needs of all members of our community. Inclusion means creating an environment where all participants and constituents are valued and 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 work together as students, parents, faculty, and administration to maintain an inclusive community. All of this is motivated and inspired by our recognition that diversity is advantageous now and in the future because we believe that classroom experiences and social relationships that broaden, rather than replicate the ideas and experiences students bring with them from their home environments are critical to fostering cognitive and social growth.
We engage a Diversity Council comprised of faculty, staff, and administrative representatives that serve to be directly involved in change-based work in the school community. Members of the council are committed to ongoing personal growth and development in areas including but not limited to anti-bias curriculum and thought, cultural and racial literacy, intercultural intelligence, social awareness, and social justice. Members of the council are actively and visibly supportive of campus programs and events.
Creating an inclusive school requires a manifold approach. Our students are engaged and valued in a way that is equitable. They need complete access into the full community to achieve a level of excellence. We examine potential barriers to full participation and continually ask the question, “Can we do this better?”