Grade 8 students recently learned about the abolitionist movement that arose from the passing of the New Fugitive Slave law in 1850, during the time period leading up to the Civil War.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Rooted in our Catholic faith and in The Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education, Stone Ridge values diversity, equity, and inclusion as an integral element of the community and education. We believe that each person is created in the image of God, and we commit ourselves to foster an awareness that impels us to act in the interests of equity and justice for all.
The Mission of the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart is inherently connected to the Mission and Philosophy of the Goals of Sacred Heart education in its work to advance understanding and respect among people of all cultures, religions, and races. This Office endeavors to improve inter- and intra-group relations by creating brave spaces for dialogue; training inclusive student leaders, faculty members, staff, and administrators by highlighting the benefits of diversity; and building bridges of understanding and respect among our different members of the Stone Ridge community. Stone Ridge’s understanding of diversity is not limited to race and ethnicity, but rather a recognition that all individuals experience the world through various dimensions, such as age, nationality, gender, mental/physical abilities, and characteristics, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation. Dimensions can also include communication style, education, family status, first language, geographic location, income, military experience, organizational role and level, work experience, expertise, and work style.
We work to support and increase our community’s awareness, understanding, inclusion, cooperation, and celebration of all its members. Our commitment to the diversity of our student body includes our endeavor to present a healthy representation of diversity in the composition of faculty, staff, administration, and Trustees, and likewise reflected in our curriculum.
Our work is rooted in the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education, the mission of the School, and guides our thoughts based on the fundamental values in the Catholic tradition.
We proudly believe that every individual has the right to live in dignity and to enjoy respect, regardless of race, gender, sex, religious belief, ethnicity, national origin, age, ability, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work is about community, and community is fluid. We are committed to embracing this work as it evolves.
DEI Programming in the Upper School
In the Upper School, students are empowered and encouraged in their DEI work both within the and outside the Stone Ridge community. The Student Diversity Board is led by seniors. All of our Upper School students have the opportunity to take part in many cultural groups such as Allies, Amig@s, Asian AppreciAsian, Black Student Alliance, Middle Eastern Students Alliance, and Spectrum.
Upper School Equity and Inclusion Student Groups
DEI Programming in the Middle School
The Middle School holds Diversity Club meetings for Grades 5 & 6 and Grades 7 & 8, respectively, once a rotation. This Club, led by Middle School faculty facilitators, provides a space for students to learn and safely share their feelings, questions, and concerns about DEI in our School and the world. The Club helps provide a time and space for students interested in diversity and social justice to pose questions and process issues with individuals with like-minded students. Students also attend local full-day Diversity Leadership Conferences. They bring their knowledge back to the school community in a number of ways including Mix-It-Up Day and assemblies about microaggressions and anti-bullying.
Better Together Parent Diversity Group
Better Together is the Stone Ridge parent diversity group for adults within the Stone Ridge community who want to help create a diverse and inclusive educational environment for their children by elevating issues regarding culture, identity, and equity in ways that unify the broader Stone Ridge community. The program, launched in January 2019, has hosted several meetings with guest speakers and engaging conversations.
ALL SCHOOL INITIATIVE - No Place for Hate® School
Stone Ridge is a No Place for Hate® School, a distinction bestowed on the school community by the Anti-Defamation League. Stone Ridge has been considered for this distinction because we continually work on building a safe and inclusive community in which respect is the goal and where all students can thrive. We empower students, faculty, administration, and family members to take a strong stand against hate and bullying, and we send a clear, unified message that all students have a home at Stone Ridge.
CULTURAL COMPETENCY and PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Whether hosting a guest speaker or attending a national conference, faculty and students have an opportunity to participate in workshops, presentations, and affinity groups related to topics of equity and justice in teaching and learning. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has held numerous opportunities for the faculty to learn, share, and openly discuss their own understanding of self and others in order to be more compassionate and empathic members of the school community. Cultural competence is the ability to successfully teach students who come from a culture or cultures other than one’s own. It entails developing certain personal and interpersonal awareness and sensitivities, understanding certain bodies of cultural knowledge and mastering a set of skills that, taken together, underlie effective cross-cultural teaching and culturally responsive teaching. These events have taken the form of all-school professional development, curriculum meetings, diversity conferences (such as the NAIS People of Color Conference), and an optional regular after-school Equity Team open to all of the employees to discuss, share questions, triumphs, and challenges within the DEI work at Stone Ridge.
The following resources have been curated by Stone Ridge in hopes that they will help our community's ongoing discussions around race.
Ms. Kim Gayle, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, collaborates with practitioners to increase the reach of DEI work within each division and for faculty and staff.
A conversation with Catherine Ronan Karels ʼ86, Head of School and Kim Gayle, Director of DEI.
The role of DEI Practitioners in the School is to support and assist the DEI Director in advancing the work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. They facilitate DEI programming in their respective division or office as it relates to the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Education.
In December, Stone Ridge sent six educators; along with Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ms. Gayle, to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual People of Color Conference (PoCC) titled “Reunited in Purpose: Elevating Our Worth, Our Agency, Our Excellence.”
Mr. Tom Duckenfield, III, and Dr. Garret Lowe presented Headstones & History: Black Lives Matter(ed) focusing on how the erasure of African American and indigenous communities throughout the DC metro area from the 1600s to present day.
Today, April 8, Stone Ridge celebrated Voices & Agency Day: A Reflection on Goal IV, a school-wide celebration highlighting individuality and our spirit as a diverse community.