Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Nobles commits itself to building a community where every member feels a sense of belonging, respect, recognition, value and confidence. We hope all members are willing to learn, value the differences that exist in our community, and understand themselves so they know how to participate in the world around them in order to make effective change. We look to the central theme of our mission statement—Leadership for the Public Good—and our community principles to guide our work and care for this purpose.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s guiding principles: accountability, justice, belonging and a commitment to growth and learning, inform our practice while deepening and strengthening our community by providing concrete and clear goals for our community members.
Defining Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
These concepts mean many things to many people. To us…
Diversity: We define diversity as the representation of all our varied identities and differences collectively and as individuals. Our definition also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives, and values. We recognize that individuals embody multiple intersecting identities.
Equity: We define equity as ensuring fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for people, while simultaneously working to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
Identities: While diversity is often used to reference race and ethnicity, gender, and gender identity, we embrace a broader definition that includes sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, culture, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status, education, family composition, and thinking and communication styles.
Inclusion: We believe inclusion is the act of creating environments where any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, and supported. Efforts at inclusion include policies and actions that promote equal access to services and resources, as well as those that enable a person to fully participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
What do we mean by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?
Accountability begins with a routine awareness of ourselves and others; when we show ownership for our actions we open ourselves to personal and communal growth. Accountability is recognizing that our actions and words may be different from what we intend. Accountability is, in essence, a form of solidarity.
In order to grow:
- We acknowledge the ways we treat, respect, and honor both ourselves and each other by committing ourselves to listen to each other in order to build systems of mutual support.
- We support our teaching faculty and staff in continued professional development in order to effectively reassess our curriculum and programming through a DEI lens.
- We validate the experiences of marginalized people and do not question their expertise.
Justice begins by investigating policies—both past and present—that affect community members of marginalized backgrounds. We strive to interrogate the historical narrative of the Nobles community by advocating for the sharing of truth and the reconciliation of the history of trauma that affects our community. We will create equitable opportunities for our marginalized students to thrive and achieve success at Nobles.
- We assess the history of the school by partnering with outside organizations, such as Facing History, the Social Justice Leadership Institute, the People of Color Conference, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the Association of Independent Schools in New England to help implement and examine our programming and curriculum.
- We strive to facilitate dialogue rather than debate.
- We aim to examine school policies through equitable and inclusive lenses to break down systems of power and oppression.
Our mission is to support students to thrive and find a sense of belonging once they are admitted. We believe it is not enough just to admit diverse students or to hire diverse faculty and staff; rather, we are committed to creating pathways for student and faculty success during the onboarding process. Working alongside our other guiding value of connection, we aim to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for all members of the Nobles community.
- We commit ourselves to student belonging by hosting a variety of unity/affinity spaces and clubs including A2A (affinity group for students of Asian heritage), S2S (affinity group for womxn of color), Q2Q (affinity group for LGBTQ+ students), SSEA (Students for Socio-Economic Awareness), SURJE (Students United for Racial Justice and Equity), Kehilla, Poder, the Black Student Union, the Multiracial Student Union, and The Body Positive Nobles.
- We support faculty and staff through various gatherings, such as Employees of Color dinners, Real Talk luncheons, new employee mentoring programs, and professional development opportunities in diversity, equity, and inclusion. These gatherings serve as a chance to enjoy one another’s company and to discuss issues impacting our community.
- We believe that these programs (as listed above) foster identity growth and development in order to create and sustain a community in which everyone can participate.
Growth and Learning
We believe growth and learning is essential for the members of our community in order to be in service of a more just society. Growth and learning is also an ongoing process for the individual and the school, in how we understand issues and act upon them. In order to grow and learn we must lean into the discomfort of difficult conversations and remember that to succeed and achieve justice we must cultivate a sense of accountability, connection, and belonging into the work that permeates our campus.
- We will make mistakes and consider them to be learning opportunities through reflection and accountability.
- We aim to push the school to be an innovative and flexible institution with the constantly changing world by committing to ongoing evaluation of our curriculum through a DEI lens; by requiring DEI professional development for all employees, we give faculty and staff the tools necessary for growth and innovation.
- We invite different voices into the discussion from assembly speakers and ethical leadership institutes for student leaders, to personal development classes.
Please watch the video above from Head of School Catherine J. Hall, Ph.D. and read an update on our work from this past summer and plans for this year. This report shares the themes we have been hearing and learning through the stories shared, as well as our short and long term plans, which will continue to deepen and evolve in the months and years ahead. Please click the button below to read this important document.