Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Stone Ridge

Stone Ridge's Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is comprehensive, extending its reach to faculty, staff, students, parents, board members, and alumnae. Guided by the year’s theme, “Goal V: Personal Growth in an Atmosphere of Wise Freedom,” the DEI office continued to align diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts with the School’s mission, vision, and Sacred Heart identity. The primary objectives of this work included: connecting Catholic social teachings with DEI initiatives, building strong relationships with students, faculty, staff, parents, and board members, and supporting faculty and staff professional development.

DEI efforts were multi-faceted, spanning institutional programming, faculty and staff development, board engagement, and student programming. DEI practitioners collaborated with division heads to address curriculum needs, promote affinity and interest clubs, enhance student advisory programs, and orchestrate school assemblies. The Board of Trustees DEI Committee, which includes trustees and alumnae representatives, gathered several times to support the administration in developing and evaluating DEI goals and initiatives. The School’s calendar featured a robust array of DEI-related events, including all-employee and equity team meetings, affinity group gatherings and Better Together parent diversity group events.


Highlights from the 2022-23 School Year

These endeavors underscore Stone Ridge’s dedication to creating a vibrant and inclusive educational community, spanning across every institutional level.

The School’s Strategic Plan has been updated and recalibrated to incorporate the “12 Commitments of Racial Justice” from 2020. This ensures that the commitments are aligned in the appropriate pillar and phase of the Strategic Plan as it relates to equity and inclusion.

Stone Ridge faculty and staff dedicated themselves to comprehensive professional development and DEI initiatives. Seven all-employee DEI meetings delved into a range of critical topics, including the School’s cultural norms, fostering respectful dialogue, best practices in hiring, and equity work guided by Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging (DEIJB) Consultant Martha Haakmat. A few highlights from these sessions include:

  • The development of “Goal IV Gathering Agreements” for employee meetings to articulate norms for meetings grounded in best practices of transformational dialogue and the Sacred Heart charism.
  • Faculty and staff engagement around the topic of implicit bias and its impact on the hiring process.
  • Building language and leadership skills for equity and belonging through mission aligned objectives with Ms. Haakmat’s guidance.

Stone Ridge educators attended the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual People of Color Conference (PoCC) to share and learn about effective teaching and leadership practices in DEIJB education. The Equity Team focused on cultivating habits and skills for a more inclusive school environment, guided by the book “The Identity-Conscious Educator” by Liza Talusan. Adult affinity groups gathered five times to continue their work in providing spaces to support staff and faculty of shared identities.

The Eliza Nesbit Contemplative Center opened in January 2023 through a generous donation from the Stone Ridge Parent Association (SRPA). The center is designed to be a simple, warm, and inviting environment for students and employees of all faiths to gather for reflection and prayer. The focal point of the room is the large metal Tree of Life, an image common in many different faiths.

The Better Together parent diversity group series continued to focus on rich discussions related to the framework of our equity, justice, and belonging efforts in our Stone Ridge community. Parents gathered several times throughout the year to meet the new DEI Team members and to learn about the updated DEI structure at Stone Ridge. Additionally, they shared their hopes and dreams for future equity and belonging initiatives at Stone Ridge.

DEI practitioners worked diligently to plan engaging student programming, special assemblies, promote awareness and appreciation of heritage and history months by generously sharing valuable resources such as book lists and displays, lesson plans, and various online materials with the School community. The School’s ongoing commitment to inclusivity is further underscored by its recognition as a No Place For Hate® school, a distinction awarded by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), highlighting the active efforts to address bias and bullying through inclusive classroom discussions and activities.


DEI in the Divisions

Lower School

Lower School students fostered diversity and inclusivity through their Gators Read Alouds and DEI Storytime initiatives. Grade 4 students led a wonderful Lower School Assembly on the canonization of six Black American Catholics. Cultural enrichment activities continued as Grades 1–4 attended the play “The Day You Begin” at the Kennedy Center.

Middle School

Middle School students committed to promoting cultural awareness and combating bias by creating informative presentations covering a range of topics, including Native American Heritage Month, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lunar New Year, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, and the exploration of stereotypes. Students led discussions about the film “Soul” and its significance, particularly highlighting the importance of jazz in the Black and African-American community and its influence on contemporary music. Middle School Diverse Book Clubs for both Grades 7–8 and Grades 5–6 encouraged thoughtful discussions and exploration of diverse literary perspectives among their peers.

Upper School

Upper School students were engaged in initiatives aimed at fostering diversity and promoting inclusivity. They organized and participated in the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, themed “Our Renaissance: Exploring Identities and Healing through Community,” demonstrating their commitment to understanding and celebrating diverse identities within the school community. The Upper School also witnessed the impactful work of the Student Diversity Coalition (SDC) and Diversity Cultural Groups (DCG), which played pivotal roles in nurturing a more inclusive environment. Upper School students led the planning and execution of “Goal IV Multicultural Day: Centennial Celebration of Culture,” aimed at celebrating diversity and belonging within the School. ❤