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, inclusion and belonging 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, desire to know and understand others, and 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, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 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, sustainable, just, and peaceful world.
As an institution that strives to respond to the needs of our community, we listen carefully to our students and graduates. In the summer of 2019, our students and alumni of color communicated clearly that we, as a community, were not realizing our mission for all students. We deeply regret the harm that our students and alumni of color have faced in our care over the years and are more resolute than ever in our dedication to ongoing antiracist and anti-oppressive education for our entire community. We commit to a continuous review of our programs, curriculum, policies, procedures, and practices in order to:
- Teach a curriculum that acknowledges reality from multiple dimensions and through multiple perspectives.
- Honor the full humanity of every member of our communities from the Holton community to the global community.
- Critically examine systems and actively challenge and dismantle those that perpetuate inequity and injustice.
- Foster deep and lasting relationships and trust across similarities and differences.
- Connect students with opportunities to develop and use their voices to shape a more equitable, sustainable, peaceful, and just world.
In this way we can truly become a learning community that educates the mind, soul, and spirit of each one of our students as Mrs. Holton intended.
Director of Diversity, Wellbeing, and Global Education