Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
A Message from the GCDS Board of Trustees
Dear GCDS Community:
Over the last several months, we have been powerfully reminded of the inequities and racial injustices that persist in our society. This impacts all of us and has resulted in deep reflection across our public institutions, schools, communities, families, and here at Greenwich Country Day School. We are committed to accelerating our progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion and continuing our efforts to foster dialogue and act on these important values.
We strive to be a supportive community that embraces all backgrounds and perspectives on our own campus and beyond. As an educational institution, our mission is to prepare students to be lifelong learners, future leaders, and engaged citizens of the highest character who treat all people with dignity and respect. This is core to who we are. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not concepts to be considered in isolation — they represent our values, are rooted in our mission and in Tiger Pride and so must be woven into everything we do as a community.
Living our values is not always easy, and we believe change requires all of us to participate thoughtfully through ongoing listening, learning, and empathy. With leadership from our Board of Trustees, we are committing to actions designed to foster a deeper culture of equity. These include:
- Creation of a Board level Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, comprised of faculty and trustees, to work with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on school wide programming and to monitor our progress against these initiatives;
- A revised Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement of Purpose to articulate our priorities which can be found below
- Continued curricular initiatives to align teaching and learning with our DEI values;
- Creation of Community Expectations for the Upper and Middle Schools to help our students engage in brave conversations that will allow them to listen, learn, and sometimes respectfully disagree;
- Anti-bias training for the Board of Trustees that will start this month and continue throughout each school year;
- Continued anti-bias training for faculty and staff.
In addition, we are deepening our efforts to attract and retain a diverse faculty, staff, and board. We will continue to enroll a diverse applicant pool as part of our admissions process, and we will strengthen existing student and faculty groups that have been committed to the ongoing work of D, E and I.
Despite our virtual environment, we appreciate and acknowledge our past, present, and future community and its connectedness. This is an important moment to reaffirm our values, recommit to the promise of Tiger Pride, and strengthen our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Vicki Craver, Dwight Anderson, Carrie Braddock, Kelly Buchalter, Wear Culvahouse, Kristin Custar, Rob Harteveldt, Taylor Glasebrook ‘97, Barbara Harty, Sonal Khichadia, Eileen Ohnell Kim '88, Frank Loverro, Will Manuel, Magdalena Zavalia-Miguens, Daniel Offit, Shahryar Oveissi '95, Cheryl Packard, Jeffrey Robertson, Adam C. Rohdie, Head of School, Ex Officio, Katherine Shaio Sandhu '91,Vernon Schwartz, Harry Schwefel, Peter Schweinfurth, Emily Hoffman Stern '90, Antonia Thompson, Frederick (Caleb) Watts, Jonathan B. Weiner
- The GCDS Board of Trustees
GCDS Diversity Equity, and Inclusion Statement of Purpose
The DEI Task Force of the Board of Trustees recently drafted the Statement of Purpose below which has been endorsed by the Board of Trustees. We urge the GCDS community to review it and discuss with your children. This is an important step in our collective responsibility and accountability for this commitment to treat all members of our community with dignity, respect, and fairness.
Greenwich Country Day School aims to build
an inclusive, just, and equitable community reflecting
the multitude of human identities and perspectives in our world.
Our school-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion programming serves as a catalyst for intellectual development and a means of fostering the growth of each individual’s capacity for self-awareness, citizenship, and leadership in a global society. We recognize this work is never-ending and we continually create brave, developmentally appropriate spaces for community members to explore all aspects of identity.
Our collective commitment to honor human dignity is sustained, developed, and evaluated through anti-bias and anti-racist practice and pedagogy. We become a stronger community when we:
- Nurture meaningful learning through interactions and collaborations between people of diverse and intersecting identities, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, religion, gender, sexual orientation, family structure, age, ability, and learning styles.
- Embolden empathic, culturally competent leaders who celebrate and value a diversity of life experiences and identities, actively listen to new perspectives, and appreciate and respect the uniqueness of all individuals.
- Develop community members who are willing to examine themselves and reflect on their role, in the context of inequality in our world and in our school.
- Foster advocates and allies, who can identify injustice and thoughtfully participate in creating pathways to positive change.
Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
A dedicated Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion led by director Chrissy Colón-Bradt facilitates and inspires our on-going efforts to foster a deep sense of connection and belonging for every member of the GCDS mosaic.
Mrs. Colón-Bradt works closely with faculty and staff on both curriculum design and professional development, in addition to guiding student leadership groups.
Board of Trustees August 2020 Letter
@GCDSTigers: After returning from Spring break we had to address violence, which has once again impacted our nation and our community. The shooting in Georgia disproportionately targeted a historically marginalized community—the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. This, at a time when anti-asian incidents and bigotry are on the rise. We stand in solidarity with the AAPI members of our GCDS community; we care about you and are here for you. We reinforce our commitment to our collective responsibility and accountability to treat all members of our community with dignity, respect, and fairness.
The Georgia and Colorado tragedies remind us that overcoming bias and hate are part of our never-ending work to build an inclusive, just, and equitable community. We condemn such violence against humanity and express our deepest wishes for justice and peace with all who have been affected by these tragedies. #gcdsmosaic #stopasianhate #promotebelonging
@GCDSTigers: Today, Upper Elementary students learned about barrier-breaking black athletes, including Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson blazing trails for athletes like Derek Jeter and Serena Williams. #BlackJoy #PromoteBelonging #BlackHistoryMonth #GCDSMosaic
@GCDSTigers: Lower elementary students celebrated this week's #BlackJoy theme of music in a workshop with drummer and artist Kwame Henry Jones. Students enthusiastically engaged in interactive sessions with Mr. Jones, including a call and response, dancing, and drumming—developing an appreciation for cultural expressions of joy through music and dance. #GCDSMosaic