The Middle School Diversity Club met for lunch on Monday, March 22. They welcomed the Upper School Black Student Alliance (BSA) to discuss African American Vernacular English and microaggressions. The BSA leaders, Kennedy Carrol '22, Lourdes Russell '21 and Kristin Lucas '21 gave a well planned and informative presentation to the Grade 7-8 students. Sharon Fine, Middle School Social Studies Teacher, said "their presentation on how to be an ally was truly inspiring."
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, and has hosted several meetings with guest speakers and engaging conversations. Learn more about the 2020-2021 events.
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.
Important Communications in Response to Racial Unrest
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Update on the Commitments (November 6, 2020)
- Email about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion meetings (July 1, 2020)
- Letter from the Stone Ridge Administrative Team (June 30, 2020)
- Letters from Head of School and Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (June 18, 2020)
- Letter from All Heads of School and Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (June 1, 2020)
The following resources have been curated by Stone Ridge in hopes that they will help our community's ongoing discussions around race.
As part of the SR Connects: Mentors: Alumnae in STEM series, Marj Betubiza ’07 and Dallas Charles ’14 talked to Upper School students about being women in business in the STEM industry. Marj is a Finance Manager on Microsoft’s Office Planning team, and her responsibilities include capacity COGS management for Teams, Skype, GroupMe and Azure Communication Services. Dallas is currently a candidate for a Masters of Science degree in Business Analytics at Arizona State University, Class of May 2021, and anticipates a career in sports or retail analytics.
“As a black student attending a PWI (Predominantly White Institution) I believe it is important for me to stay connected to my identity as a black girl and step team has been a great way to make these connections. I am learning more about my own culture while also sharing it with the rest of the Stone Ridge community, whether it’s through a performance at Feast Wishes or a presentation during morning assembly.”- Nadia Anderson ‘22, SRST member of two years
Our Middle School recently participated in their third Explorer Day this year. Students considered how Catholic Social Teaching, Justice, and Art can help us to bring Christ's heart into the world. The morning prayer service grounded students in Goal I: A personal and active faith in God, as students reflected on Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season
Grade 7 students engaged in an interactive discussion and presentation about uncovering the hidden stories of the American past and explored how Native Americans have shaped American history and culture. Students examined three stories from the American past: the First Thanksgiving, the story of Pocahontas, and the Battle of Little Bighorn.
On November 26, students from the Voices from the African Diaspora took a field trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The African Diapora half year class examines the rich literary traditions of the African diaspora--the dispersion of people of African descent away from their ancestral homeland and throughout the world.
On September 20, Dr. Marcia Chatelain spoke to parents, faculty, and staff about where and how students are receiving explicit and implicit message about race, gender, social class, sexuality, ability, and religion.
The Social Action Day on October 30 began with an Upper School assembly on the topic of Migration. We were joined by Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, a Franciscan Friar of the Holy Name Province who serves as a minister for Catholic Charities in parish community organizing and advocacy.
The Upper School Social Action assembly today focused on Human Rights. We welcomed Maeve McKean, Executive Director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative.
Fourth academics taking “Voices of the African Diaspora” were treated to an intriguing classroom visit last week from alumna Zoe Sheppard '16, who discussed her experience in a program in Ghana earlier this year
Every year, Bethesda Magazine holds their Annual Extraordinary Teen Awards, which recognizes 12 teens from the area that are "making their marks in and out of the classroom." Our own Stone Ridge girl, Amalia Marmolejos '19, was one of the students selected this year and is featured in the March/April issue, available now.
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.
2019 was Stone Ridge's fourth year as an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) No Place For Hate school. ADL's No Place For Hate initiative provides schools with a framework for combating bias, bullying, and hatred, which leads to long-term solutions to foster and maintain a positive climate.
For a recent Social Action assembly, Stone Ridge Upper School students and faculty enthusiastically welcomed back LaToya Thomas '01, who gave an engaging presentation into the importance of protecting human dignity in order to build a healthier, more inclusive community.
On Martin Luther King National Day of Service, Stone Ridge students exemplified how the community works to achieve Goal III of Sacred Heart education--a social awareness which impels to action. Here, we highlight just two examples of caring students in action.
Ms. Michelle Black, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, works with coordinators to increase the reach of work within each division and for faculty and staff.