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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Brentwood School celebrates its diverse community enthusiastically: the commitment to an inclusive community is planned with purpose, and it starts at the top. 

Several of Brentwood School’s institutional goals — our guideposts — center on equity and inclusion. The Board of Trustees has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee that meets regularly, and trustees represent many of the identities and heritages in our multifaceted community. 

The commitment, however, goes well beyond the boardroom: it plays out in our extensive array of affinity groups for students and families, in curricula that broaden perspectives and introduce little-known voices, and in the numerous events that unite our community and bring it joy.

Finding Belonging at Brentwood

Cameron D.

"I feel my most authentic self while working on The Flyer, our student newspaper. As Editor-in-Chief, I have felt nurtured and supported because of the amazing and close-knit environment that our staff has created. When writers pitch story ideas, I never feel judged because our staff uplifts and encourages everyone. And our advisor has always supported me — I know that I can always trust and rely on her."

Cameron D. '24

Marcos I.

"Group activities such as the football and soccer teams have helped me find people with common interests, and affinity spaces such as the Latinx Student Alliance (LSA) have helped me find people with shared identities. Friendships from these activities have helped me find belonging, especially as a newer student at Brentwood."

Marcos I. '25

Evan K.

"I found belonging in advocacy. One thing about being a student at Brentwood is they will give you the opportunity to reach your fullest potential — all you have to do is have a dream and knock on the right doors. As a queer trans man, it was hard to find belonging in a narrow-minded small town. I jumped on the opportunity to come to Brentwood as they promised me a safe haven to be myself unapologetically, to which they have not only kept their promise but have helped me achieve more than I could ever have dreamed."

Evan K. '24

Eric G.

"Brentwood's vibrant, supportive, and one-of-a-kind community truly feels like a second family to me. I find a sense of belonging in many different places, such as the Asian Student Alliance, a place where I can relate to people who identify similarly to me, and the Brentwood School Orchestra, a community of musicians who all share a love for performing."

Eric G. '26

Chloe S.

"From sports teams to affinity spaces, to our wonderful teachers' genuine care for every student, Brentwood has become a second home for me. On my swimming and water polo teams, we all look out for each other. In the Middle Eastern Student Alliance and Jewish Student Alliance, I found belonging with students who share similar experiences to my own, and I found a space where my diverse background can be celebrated and uplifted. Brentwood provides a loving environment that has made me feel welcome since I first walked on campus."

Chloe S. '26

Allie R.

"On the debate team I found not only an activity that I love, but a group of people I know I will be friends with forever. Whether it be our drives to get food in between rounds or inside jokes that sound nonsensical to someone unfamiliar with debate, my team members have become like family. Lucky for me, debate is not the only space where I have found belonging. Through our Latinx Student Alliance (LSA), I found students equally passionate about sharing our vibrant Latinx culture with our school. When I talk about my Mexican grandmother's antics, like her Vicks Vapor Rub (Bibaporuto the Hispanic tongue), it's like I'm talking about our grandmother. As an LSA leader, I am grateful to organize events to help other Latinx students feel the same sense of belonging."

Allie R. '24

Dylan U.

"I find belonging at Brentwood through the Performing Arts Department. All the teachers who work in the theater have been the most kind and supportive people. It's such a loving and open community where everyone is welcome, and being a part of it has helped me gain so much more confidence and love for myself and those around me."

Dylan U. '24

Julian D.

"When I'm at Brentwood, I find belonging in all kinds of spaces. Whether it's through volleyball, the VA club, or in Engineering & Design, it has been easy for me to find a community where I fit in here."

Julian D. '26

Tara M.

"I find belonging at Brentwood by getting involved with the vibrant community in every way possible—whether it's through affinity groups or spending time with my friends. Brentwood provides everyone with the opportunity to learn from new perspectives and celebrate our cultures together. These experiences have immersed me in the inclusive community at Brentwood, creating friendships that will continue for many years to come."

Tara M. '25

Affinity Groups

A robust roster of parent/guardian and student affinity groups, managed by the Office of Equity and Inclusion, facilitates discussion and friendship while ensuring that all voices are heard.

Affinity groups, typically representing the historically oppressed, aim to enhance awareness, create cohesion, and help promote a positive sense of self among those who share an identity and their allies. Learn more about affinity spaces

What We Teach and How We Teach It

A Black teacher wearing a white sweater with orange stripes sits at a desk laughing with three students

 

Multiple perspectives — from classmates, teachers, and texts — enhance a child’s ability to think critically.

In our Lower School, students learn about diversity in the world, the city, and right in the classroom. Second graders explore classmates’ diverse cultures by studying names. Third graders buckle imaginary seatbelts and experience countries around the world. Themes of social justice, introduced at every age, emerge more fully in 4th and 5th grade. And in every grade, literature that celebrates diversity joins classical texts for a broad, inclusive experience.

Our Middle School and Upper School curricula include authors of marginalized identities, as well as historical events once overlooked in Eurocentric lesson plans. BCIL entrepreneurship challenges often emphasize social justice, and young artists explore complex identities. You’ll find an inclusive mindset in every classroom — and well beyond the classroom.

Infographic with hourglass icon reads %2224 Open E & I Office Hours%22
Infographic with yellow lightbulb reads %225 Lower School Crayon Clubs%22
Infographic with purple megaphone reads %2243 Student Affinity Group Leaders%22
Infographic with blue speech bubble reads %229 Parent Affinity Groups%22
Infographic with red speech bubbles reads %2212 Student Affinity Groups%22

Our Equity and Inclusion Goals

Some institutional goals focused on equity and inclusion are complete and others remain a work in progress. When the first full-time Director of Equity and Inclusion was hired in 2016 — an early goal — it was the only E&I administrative position. Today, three full-time employees and ten Lower, Middle, and Upper School liaisons work in E&I. 

Other goals have established the board’s DEI Committee, diversified the curriculum, created the student Multicultural Center, expanded affinity groups, provided learning opportunities for parents and guardians, and developed a tool for students to report experiences that may be bias-motivated. 

Brentwood recently added antisemitism alongside anti-racism, sexism, homophobia, and bigotry in all its forms to institutional goals around curriculum, professional development, leadership training, and parent education. The school has offered programming for the school leadership, students, families, faculty, and staff to address increasing antisemitism in the world.

Institutional goals like these, and several others, are still in progress — and may always be. We will never stop fostering conversations on identity and social justice, particularly through Middle and Upper School advisories and the Lower School Community of Caring. We remain committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce, and we continue to stress employees’ training and accountability and provide professional development. Our E&I training for trustees and senior leadership is ongoing, with the Perception Institute. And we are in the midst of analyzing student academic and behavioral outcomes for inconsistencies.

Brentwood's Office of Equity and Inclusion helps the community navigate and celebrate its diverse identities, striving to build a safe and welcoming community where all voices are heard and differences valued. An inclusive community is not only right; it's essential to a complete education.

A photo of our three Equity and Inclusion employees posed in front of the school

Planting Seeds

Brentwood School invites employees and parents to join the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project, a national organization focused on “bringing people together to learn through self-reflection, building relationships through structured dialogue, and creating change through systemic analysis.”  Participants deepen understanding of themselves and others, while expanding their knowledge of the world. 

Alumni Diversity Council

Brentwood's Alumni Diversity Committee, established in 2020, works to assure that the Alumni Association is fulfilling and promoting the school's goals and mission around diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee meets quarterly and hosts at least one event per year for alumni of diverse identities. 

African-American Read In

In 2011, Lower School Equity and Inclusion specialist Dr. Tina Evans hosted our first African American Read-In, which welcomes prominent Black community members to campus to read stories and share about their careers. Established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), this national event is the first and oldest dedicated to diversity in literature. 

Diversity Day

Diversity Day's inspiring speakers, workshops, and panels for grades 6-12 bring awareness to the experiences of people of different identities. The Office of Equity and Inclusion, faculty, and students collaborate on the biennial event. Past speakers have included ALOK, Blair Imani, Clint Smith, Schuyler Bailar, Carlos Andres Gomez, Steve Pemberton, Azure Antoinette, Monique Coleman, and Derreck Kayongo.

Newsworthy

Diversity Mission Statement

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.