Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We live together in a community that actively strives to be inclusive, diverse, and just. Collectively, we stand against hatred, violence, prejudice, and injustice perpetrated against any individual or group, of any background. Embracing the strength of our differences, we work to foster the exchange of ideas that values the diverse lived experiences and perspectives of our students, staff, and faculty. All of this gives meaning to our values of respect and kindness that are deeply rooted in our mission and our Episcopal identity.

Black lives matter, and we stand in unity and solidarity with our BIPOC students, families, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae.

Statement of Inclusivity

As a fully residential academic community founded in the Episcopal tradition and rooted in enduring humanistic values, St. Paul’s School welcomes and affirms the dignity of all human beings. Increasing diversity, strengthening inclusivity, and deepening equity require deep listening, open hearts, and open minds. We honor and affirm the experiences of our students, faculty, and staff. We take seriously our responsibility to equip our students to engage the world as global citizens who aspire to transform the world in service of the greater good and Beloved Community.

Strategic Initiative

In 2017 the Board of Trustees charged the Task Force on Inclusive Community to create action plans to further the initiative of diversity and inclusivity, including what resources (human, time, and/or capital) would be required to move them forward. Over the past three years, the School has worked to implement the recommendations as set forth in the task force report.

DEI Councils

Under the leadership of Bethany Dickerson Wynder, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, the School is working to embed DEI work into community life through the development of new programs and structures that deepen existing partnerships and collaborations among students, faculty, staff, and SPS alumni of color. The director provides a central hub to support the Faculty DEI Council, led by Pankti Dalal and Omar Brown, the newly created Student DEI Council, the emerging Interfaith Council, and with members of the Office of Advancement in developing an outreach plan for alumni/alumnae of color.
Faculty DEI Council Activities
  • Co-creation of a Lead Advisory Board for affinity and alliance groups and the Faculty DEI Council.
  • Enhance practices, policies, and procedures at SPS
  • Initial work to identify sustainable initiatives that allow DEI to be an ethos that permeates SPS.
Student DEI Council
In September 2020, SPS created the Student DEI Council, a student-led group whose members work to enhance policies, practices, and procedures. Specifically, the purpose of the Student DEI Council is to deliberately focus on issues pertaining to identity on the grounds and act as an advisory board to the Rector and the School’s administration-at-large. The Council serves to increase student input and involvement in DEI work and partner with the Faculty DEI Council. This student leadership body supplements the School’s initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion on grounds.

SPS at a Glance

The Way Forward

Listening and Learning. Through deep listening and learning, St. Paul’s School works to respond to the needs of an eclectic mix of students, faculty, staff, alumni/alumnae, and families to enhance community life. The work of strengthening equity and inclusivity requires deep listening with open hearts and open minds.
Curricular and Community Education. Working together to build Beloved Community as we enhance inclusivity and belonging within the School, we seek to listen, affirm, and understand the diversity of our cultural experiences across age, ability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Both within and outside the classroom, faculty work to deepen the breadth and depth of diverse voices within our curriculum, grounding this work in genuine curiosity and respect for the dignity of every human being. Together we strive to advance Beloved Community through collaboration and cooperation.
Representation. We encourage and value a diverse community, holding individuals with many viewpoints and experiences.
Equitable and Inclusive Community. We honor and affirm the experiences of all of our students, faculty, and staff as critical to building a more inclusive and beloved community.
Faculty Hiring and Retention. St. Paul’s School strives toward a Beloved Community in which the diversity of perspectives is honored, affirmed, and included. We aggressively seek applications from candidates who will promote this commitment to hiring diverse faculty members dedicated to the fully residential model of an intentional school community. Candidates reflect a demonstrated focus on the important work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, an understanding of social-emotional learning in a developmental and relational context, and deep devotion to teaching in their area of expertise realized in a growth mindset. Faculty are eager to live among and teach young men and women from all over the world and are energized by this multifaceted work.
Social Justice. St. Paul’s School is a member institution of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES). The rich history of Episcopal Schools and the tradition of St. Paul’s School embodies the pillars of NAES, which includes social justice. St. Paul’s School actively strives for justice and peace among all people. In seeking to respect the dignity of every human being, we work to equip our community to eliminate barriers, hatreds, or suspicions that would divide us as we aspire for healing, justice, and peace.

Partnerships and Programming

List of 6 items.

  • Partnerships

    St. Paul’s School sponsors and partners with leading organizations actively engaged in the work of DEI education. These organizations include:
    • VISIONS, Inc.
      The mission of VISIONS, Inc. is to empower the creation of environments where differences are recognized, understood, appreciated, and utilized for the benefit of all through both time-tested and innovative training and tools, public advocacy, and consulting models addressing the personal, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional levels.
    • Hinderlie Associates
    • Diversity Directions
    • Association for Independent Schools of New England (AISNE)
    • National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS)
    • National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES)
    • NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference and People of Color Conference
    • AISNE High School Students of Color Conference
    • National Anti-Racism Teach-In
  • Chapel Program

    The SPS community meets for Chapel several times a week. Community members pause and reflect and share their concerns and thoughts in a loving and spiritual space. Presentations, Chapel Talks, and services particularly relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion are shared here.
    “The Case for Reparations,” by Prof. Eleanor Brown, a Penn State law professor and Rhodes Scholar
    “Black History Month: The Role of History,” by Michael B. Moore, VP, Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Blackbaud
    “When the Stars Begin to Fall,” by the Rev. Michael Spencer, SPS Vice Rector for Faculty
    VISIONS: The Head, the Heart, and the Hands,” by Dr. Michelle Holmes, Consultant for VISIONS, Inc.
    “Sacred Allies: Giving Breath to Bones,” by the Rev. Mark Koyama, pastor of the United Church of Jaffrey in Jaffrey, N.H. which initiated the Sacred Ally Quilt Project
    "Hagar: Encountering the God Who Sees Me," by Rev. Leandra Lambert, Curate for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
    “Rediscovering Equanimity,” by Nursel Riley, SPS Faculty
  • Guest Speakers, Visiting Experts, and Learning Series

    St. Paul’s School welcomes visiting experts and guest speakers to share their experiences with the School community. The expertise and points of view bring added dimension and understanding to the grounds.
    Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (2014) Consultant, Educator, Activist
    Byron Hurt, (2015 MLK Day Speaker) An award-winning documentary filmmaker, author, and activist
    Artist Roberto Lugo (2015) on identity and belonging
    Christine Savini (2015, 2016) Diversity Directions, Strengthening Diversity Recruitment
    Olivia Morehead-Slaughter (2015) Mitigating Implicit Bias
    Playwright Michael Fosberg, “Incognito” (2016)
    Paul Gorski (2017-18) Equity Literacy
    Daniel Heischman  (2018-19) Executive Director, NAES | Organizational Mission: Episcopal Identity and the Intersection with the work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    Caroline Blackwell (2018-19) Vice President for Equity and Justice, NAIS | Personal Mission: Finding Your Why
    Angie Thomas (2019), author, The Hate U Give
    Darryl Davis (2020) Practicing the Values of MLK
    Joe Feldman (2020) Grading For Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms
    Jennifer Bryan (2020) Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in Inclusive Schools
    Liza Talusan (2020) Practical Application to Reinforce Cultural Competency in the Community
    Camerata Baltimore (2020)
    The Legacy Show (2020)
    Ibram Xolani Kendi (2020-21) author, How To Be An Antiracist, historian, and scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America
    Keith Hinderlie (2020-21) Understanding Microaggressions in the age of Black@
    Arshay Cooper (2020-21) author, Suga Water, and a film screening of A Most Beautiful Thing, based on this memoir
  • Student Affinity and Alliance Groups

    Student-initiated groups provide a safe space for all participants to identify salient issues and common concerns through dialogue, using individual voices to bring about affirmation, fellowship, connection, and empowerment. Students with a shared identity meet regularly, working together and with advisers to focus on specific objectives and goals. Alliances comprise students with a shared commitment to a cause. Activities include Chapel presentations, community events, and similar opportunities to inform fellow students and SPS adults about the challenges they face. Each group has a lead faculty adviser or co-lead faculty advisers.
    • Asian Society
      The Asian Society at SPS is an affinity group for students who identify as Asian or Asian American. This is a space where students can feel the familiarity of those who identify as they do. The group is centered around the sharing of stories, the discussion of events, the celebration of Asian holidays, and the sharing of Asian food and culture. The group’s goal is to share in the celebration of Asian culture with each other and the greater SPS community.
    • Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
      The GSA is open to anyone, including allies who are interested in discussing issues around gender and sexuality. We stand in full solidarity with people who may be disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation, sexual identity, or gender expression. We help create awareness and make systemic changes at SPS to counteract discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia, educate the community through planned events, and ensure that school policies and curriculum are inclusive.
    • The Hillel Society
      The Hillel Society is an affinity group that works to create opportunities and programming to support Jewish students at St. Paul’s School. Through social gatherings, celebrations of holidays, and planning chapel programming we are able to connect with one another and celebrate our shared Jewish identities.
    • Indian Society
      The Indian Society at SPS is an affinity group for students who identify as Indian or Indian-American. Our meetings feature activities including weekly check-ins and conversations on current events. Indian Society offers a space to affirm, nurture, and celebrate our shared cultural identity. As members of the Indian Society, our role in the St. Paul’s School community has been to advance diversity/inclusion initiatives and to share our cultural experiences with the School. This includes the planning of chapel programs and campus-wide events.
    • Justice and Social Equality for Asians (JSEA)
      JSEA is an alliance group for students of all backgrounds at SPS. A typical meeting includes discussion around a current event (which could be specific to SPS or at a national or global level), social justice initiative, or historical inequality impacting people of Asian descent. This is a space for students of all backgrounds to learn more about challenges faced by people of Asian descent either here at SPS or in the U.S. as a whole because of their ethnicity, and ways we can all work for change to address these inequalities.
    • Latinx Society
      The Latinx Society at SPS is an affinity group for students who identify as Latinx. A typical meeting includes a conversation about our shared experiences, a reflection on the celebration of cultural tradition, or the planning of an external event to share and to educate the community on the rich cultures of Latin America. This is a safe space for students to unpack their Latinx identity and to explore it among peers.
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual or Allied+ (LGBTQIA+)
      The LGBTQIA+ Affinity group at SPS is a membership for students and faculty who are part of the queer community and identify as being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, Plus (other self-identifiers not listed). A typical meeting includes gathering in a safe space and engaging in conversations about shared experiences, being out (or not) at SPS, and working with the School administration to educate the community about homophobia and transphobia and counteract discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation and gender expression.
    • Muslim Society
      The Muslim Society of St. Paul’s School is a diverse affinity group for students who feel inspired by, or a sense of belonging to, any dimension of Islam. First and foremost, it is a safe space for students who identify as Muslim by faith, heritage, geographical influence, or sincere exploration to support one another, inclusively, without privileging any particular sect, tradition, or national interpretation. The Muslim Society also strives to serve the greater SPS community by clarifying common misconceptions about Islam, which is sometimes portrayed in the media as less diverse than it really is, and celebrating its culture together.
    • Onyx
      Onyx at SPS is an affinity group for students who identify as Black, African American, or of African heritage. This group is a safe space for students to gather together and be in community with one another and adults. Onyx meetings vary in topics but the overall goal remains the same and that is making students feel comfortable on campus and having a “place to process.” This affinity group creates a safe and brave space for students to discuss various topics and socially connect with one another.
    • Transitions
      Transitions is a cross-cultural affinity group for students who identify as students of color. Transitions is a group where students gather to discuss the commonalities of being a non-white student on a predominantly white campus. Meetings are opportunities to celebrate one’s culture while on campus, a place to hang out, and not have to code-switch, a place to celebrate your triumphs, and discuss your frustrations. Members can build a network of support systems across campus and find themselves among peers with whom they share cultural identities and backgrounds. These connections forge strong friendships and create lasting memories.
    • Women of Color
      The SPS Women of Color (SPS WoC) is an affinity group for students who identify as Women of Color at St. Paul’s School. SPS WoC sponsors events and gatherings to discuss concerns and topics that WoC feel are meaningful to them, inspire support of one another, and foster mentorship of students new or unfamiliar to all the opportunities SPS offers and any challenges fellow students may encounter. WoC hopes to build upon the fellowship, friendship, and fun of being WoC together at SPS.
    • Young Women’s Club
      The Young Women’s Club is an affinity group at SPS. We seek to provide an inclusive and supportive space for the young women on campus. By surrounding the girls with other members who identify similarly, cultivating discussions about gender equity, and hosting various activities that encourage the building of strong relations between older and younger students, the Young Women’s Club is dedicated to supporting all of the girls that reside on this campus. The group’s goal is to be more active this year, which means having a greater presence in the community through frequent activities. ​​
  • Faculty and Staff Diversity and Training

    SPS actively recruits, hires, and retains a wide-ranging mix of talented faculty and staff. St. Paul’s School is committed to educating its faculty members as well as its students with a comprehensive professional development program devoted to building a vibrant and inclusive community.
    • All faculty candidates are screened for prior professional development in the area of cultural competency.
    • The School’s strategic plan for diversity in faculty recruitment increased the number of faculty of color on the grounds from 18 percent to 25 percent over the past six years.
    • The percentage of Black and LatinX faculty of color mirrors the percentage among students for each of these groups.
    • Affinity groups, events, and programs are designed to attract and retain faculty of color.
    • The School uses a unique assessment protocol designed to mitigate implicit bias in the hiring process.
    • Annual DEI professional development is a requirement for every faculty member.
    • Consultant Keith Hinderlie works with faculty on responses to microaggressions and concerns raised by the Black@ movement.
    • SPS has sent one of the largest faculty cohorts to the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference (POCC) each year for the last four years.
    • All faculty members are required to participate in immersive, off-campus diversity training by the summer of 2022. Nearly 70% have completed the requirement to date.
  • Windows and Mirrors Film Series

    In September 2020, St. Paul’s School launched a “Windows and Mirrors Film Series,” as part of its diversity, equity, and inclusion work to build the Beloved Community on campus. A mirror is a story that reflects one’s own culture and helps one build one’s identity. A window is a resource that offers one a view into someone else's experience.
    This initiative also seeks to embed the tenets of the SPS 360 learning approach into this series of learning events. Specifically, this film series seeks to integrate social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth into every aspect of each student’s life.
    Learning Goals and Objectives:
    • To further expose St. Paul’s School students to stories that reflect one’s own culture.
    • To build one’s identity and/or offer a view into someone else’s experience.
    • To show culturally relevant movies one to two Saturday evenings each month and provide recommended pre-work and post-work exercises to enhance the student experience.
    Recent Films:
    • “A Most Beautiful Thing,” a documentary that chronicles the first African American high school rowing team in this country. Hear from Arshay Cooper, author of Suga Water, who inspired the documentary.

DEI News

Guest Speakers

Scholarship. Leadership.
Character. Community.
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