College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

A Letter from the Director of Diversity, Wellbeing and Global Education

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

July 17, 2020

Dear Holton-Arms Community,

In founding our School, Jessie Moon Holton demonstrated the power education has to liberate the mind. By creating a space for young women to live, learn, and lead together, she empowered her students to develop a strong sense of self and belonging in a supportive community. Today, diversity, equity, and inclusion at Holton are deeply rooted in that vision and now, more than ever, are mission-critical for our students to thrive in the world beyond our walls. This means that students must come to know themselves, to desire to know and understand others, and to cultivate deep and lasting relationships across race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and ability.

In response to Holton’s 2015 AIMS Self-Study and Strategic Goals, our community committed to centering and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). At that time, I began my journey on the Senior Administrative Leadership Team as Holton’s first Director of Diversity and Global Education (now Diversity, Wellbeing and Global Education). In this role, I serve as liaison to the Board’s Diversity Committee, leader of T.I.D.E. (our 3-12 faculty/staff diversity committee), and facilitator of professional development and community education.

With intentionality, DEI is embedded in our educational philosophy “Learn Well, Live Well, Lead Well” which integrates opportunities for students to develop cultural, social-emotional, and global competence in grades 3-12. In academic classes, Seminar, Homeroom, and Advisory, we are cultivating the consciousness, will, and skill-set necessary to dismantle oppression and realize a more equitable, just, and sustainable world.

As an institution that strives to respond to the needs of our community, we have been listening carefully to our BIPOC students and graduates. Although our goals have been clear, we recognize that in many ways, we have fallen short of meeting them. As our Head of School recently shared with the Holton community, we are reflecting on their lived experiences and deeply regret the harm that our students and alumnae have faced in our care over the years. As such, we are more resolute than ever in our dedication to antiracist and anti-oppressive education for trustees, administration, faculty, staff, parents, and students and a continuous review and renewal of our curriculum and policies. Only in this way, can we truly become a learning community that educates the mind, soul, and spirit of each one of our students as Mrs. Holton intended.

Sincerely,

Melissa Brown
Director of Diversity, Wellbeing and Global Education