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Everyone can agree that bullying is damaging and must be curtailed. Amid a national backdrop of #BlackLivesMatter and increasing social justice activism, especially among our Generation Z students, awareness is growing around the detrimental effects of racialized bullying, microaggressions, and unconscious bias.

Over the past year, this momentum for change accelerated with #NoBlackoutBrentwood postings, active engagement from the Black Family Association, an open letter to the school, social media testimonies of bias experiences, and more. It is especially crucial now for those of us with privilege, for those of us who could easily deny subconscious bias and turn away from this conversation, to stand up on behalf of those who have experienced or do experience daily discrimination through Brentwood School. And through this initiative and other ongoing actions, we are doing so.

For us to grow in this inclusive direction, our activities must dedicate time to healing and community building through dialogue. We must also find ways to become a clear leader in this area. To that end, Brentwood School has launched the Inclusive Excellence Racial Equity Initiative, a 12-month project to expand and accelerate what we’ve already begun, building upon our vision of being a safe and welcoming top-tier school.

This initiative includes several concurrent themes:

  • Conducting a comprehensive, culturally relevant review and assessment of the Brentwood School learning environment, curriculum, communication practices, and policies to uncover bias.
  • Gathering and analyzing insights on the lived experiences of current Brentwood School students, staff, faculty, parents, and alumni.
  • Creating healing opportunities through community-building events, dialogue sessions, and coaching for faculty, staff, students, parents and families, and alumni around topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
  • Developing a multiyear DEI strategic plan with monitoring criteria, scheduled for implementation starting in the fall of 2021 and informed by these data and information gathering efforts.

The school affirms our intention to fully support every child in their learning journey, in becoming the fullest expression of their unique selves, and in preparing to succeed in our increasingly diverse and global world.

This project is founded upon the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

  • Diversity refers to the vast variety of personal features, and their unique combinations in each of us, that factor into our core identity, such as race, gender, sexuality, disability, religious beliefs, economic background, and many more ways we vary.
  • Equity is about dissolving systemic bias that leads to unequal outcomes among people when compared by identity groups.
  • Inclusion empowers minority groups to feel belonging and acceptance without having to assimilate. At a school, inclusion is an active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity—in curriculum, in co-curriculum and in communities in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.
  • Anti-racism means not merely avoiding racism, but speaking up against it, admitting to having unconscious biases, and actively making changes towards a just and equitable society. This Brentwood School initiative stands strong as part of a national conversation ensuring K-12 schools are actively anti-racist agents of DEI.

With questions, please contact 

DEI Committee Members
Walter Delph, Trustee and Co-Chair
Erica Lockhart, Trustee and Co-Chair
Brian Lee, Board of Trustees Chair
Morgan Mallory, Trustee
Cecilia Victor, Trustee
Antonieta Arango, Trustee
Sam Yadegar, Trustee
David Kohl, Trustee
Ana Ponce, Trustee 
Dr. Mike Riera, Head of School
Dr. Dawn Cunnion, 
Associate Head of School
Gennifer Yoshimaru, 
Assistant Head of School
Dr. Trina Moore-Southall, 
Director of Equity & Inclusion
Steven Tolbert, CFOO
Selena Cuffe, BFA 
Huey Merchant, Pride Project
Jane Kim, AFA 
Linda Velasquez, El Nido  
Sarita Barnes, Alumni of Color 

Governance Team

Brian Lee, Board of Trustees Chair

Erica Lockhart, Co-Chair, DEI Committee

Walter Delph, 
Co-Chair, DEI Committee
Mike Riera, Head of School
Dr. Damon A. Williams, 
External Consulting Team

Operations Team 
CO-CHAIR, Dr. Trina Moore-Southall, Director of Equity and Inclusion

CO-CHAIR, Dr. Dawn Cunnion, Associate Head of School

Gennifer Yoshimaru, 
Assistant Head of School

Steve Tolbert, CFOO

Mychal Johnson,
Assistant Director of Equity and Inclusion
Blair Spearn,
Assistant Director of the Lower School
Don Smith,
Assistant Director of the Middle School

Dana Gonzalez,
Assistant Director of the Upper School

Ex Officio Member: Amelia Hollis, Assistant to the Head of School (Operations & Logistics)