Faculty members attended the Upper School’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lunch on Thursday to discuss and share how those topics affect them and the school.
“The purpose of this introductory DEI lunch for the Upper School is just to come together and see where we are in relation to diversity, equity, inclusion at the school,” upper school dean Chris Jones said.
All members of the faculty and administration were invited to attend the lunch.
The administration designed the lunch to give faculty members a chance to share how the themes of diversity, equity and inclusion impact them and experiences they have had regarding these issues. Jones said the first lunch was a combination of a support group and an action-oriented meeting.
Attendees could bring up a specific theme or thought to discuss in detail or just talk in very general terms about the three topics, Jones said.
“I feel like I represent the diversity in this school, since we don’t have a ton of super diverse faculty, and so because I tend to talk to kids about issues in my classes, I feel like its good to represent the faculty,” visual arts teacher Gustavo Godoy said.
Following recent reports of students using homophobic and racial slurs in social media posts, discussion regarding diversity on campus and the use of derogatory language increased.
The administration has held the lunch several times before at the Middle School and due to the lunches’ success there, faculty members decided to hold one at the Upper School. Some teachers felt the decision to hold a meeting at the Upper School was a good way to address issues of diversity on campus.
“There was a fairly decent amount as far as a turnout of faculty who attended the meeting so that is a step in the right direction as far as faculty being interested in talking about these issues and hopefully taking steps to make changes in our school,” upper school testing coordinator Candris Madison said.
Some teachers felt the lunch was a good way to address issues diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.
“I got a sense that a lot of the faculty care, that I’m surrounded by thoughtful, caring people and I feel like the school is very good at being reflective and trying to be as good as we could possibly be,” Godoy said.