Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of having dinner with a group of approximately sixty parents, faculty, staff, administrators, and board members to share with them some collective and personal reflections on the place of Diversity and Inclusion in the experience of our students and that of all members of the Buckley community. I also gave an update on a new strategy, moving forward, concerning Buckley’s goals with regard to Diversity and Inclusion.
This dinner was an opportunity for me to retrace our school’s journey as Buckley has sought to build a strong culture of inclusion. After reiterating the goals that frame the D&I work that we do, highlighting the underpinnings of the stated purpose that compels us to do that work, and reaffirming our institutional and my personal commitment to continuing that work, I presented the next steps of our D&I strategy.
Next month, I will be forming a D&I Steering Committee representing a cross-section of our community and including parents, faculty, staff, and a Board member. The committee approach will give us a chance to have broader representation to lead the school’s effort. The D&I Steering Committee will function in an advisory capacity, serve as a conduit of information and feedback, and set agendas for monthly community-wide gatherings. These gatherings will be an opportunity to have presentations from a variety of experts, both internal and external, on topics of interest and relevance to the community. The conversations are not meant to just be conversations; as always, I remain committed to considering the action steps recommended or suggested as a result of our conversations. In short, my goal is to engage our community more broadly and more deeply with regard to Diversity and Inclusion.
As suggested at the dinner, I will explore ways to assess the success of the Steering Committee approach once established for a year or so.
If you would be interested in joining the Committee, please let me know via email before the February break. I anticipate monthly planning meetings, which could occur remotely, and in-person participation in monthly community-wide gatherings.
I realize that this is a new approach and that it might take some adjustments over the course of the years to get it right. I do believe that it is a step in the right direction as we continue to build community engagement around Diversity and Inclusion at Buckley.