Our faculty and staff are diligent about making sure the curriculum for our students is responsive to our demographics and student needs. In addition to our academic and extracurricular offerings, DCD hosts student affinity spaces and dialogue groups beginning in lower school.
An affinity space is a space that allows people who share an identity—usually a marginalized identity—to gather, talk in a safe space about issues related to that identity, and transfer that discussion into action that makes for a more equitable experience at school.
A dialogue group is a space that allows people who do not necessarily share an identity to gather, talk in a safe space about issues related to their experiences, and transfer that discussion into action that makes for a more equitable experience at school.
Lower School Affinity Spaces and Dialogue Groups
Culture Club meets once a month most months during the academic year. The purpose of Culture Club is to bring students who identify as students of color together to discuss their individual identities, and other topics like holidays and heritage months. Culture club began in 2011 under the leadership of Lynne Mayard and is currently facilitated by Ivy Alphonse-Crean.
Middle School Affinity Spaces and Dialogue Groups
Most middle school affinity spaces and dialogue groups meet weekly during X blocks, with one exception. Each year, students are surveyed about space needs, and spaces may be shifted or created according to student feedback and adult staffing requirements. Students in middle school affinity spaces and dialogue groups also assist with planning the annual middle school conference.
This is a dialogue group for students who identify as LGBTQIA+ and for students who identify as allies to this group to come together and learn more about LGBTQIA+ history and the LGBTQIA+ experience; students also discuss how DCD might better serve students who identify as LGBTQIA+.
This is a space for students who identify as girls to discuss issues related to being a girl at DCD. Topics for discussion have included dress code, body image, advocacy and gendered expectations.
This is a space for students who identify as boys to discuss issues related to being a boy at DCD. What does “being a boy” mean? What expectations are placed on boys? How do boys move through the world around them?
Students of Color
This affinity space provides a minority majority experience for students who identify as students of color. What does it mean to be a student of color at DCD? How can our community better meet the needs of students of color at DCD?
Social Justice Club
This dialogue group asks the question “what can I do?” Students in the social justice club consider how to get involved and make change so that our DCD community, and the world around us, can continue to know better and do better.
Based on student feedback in the 2021-2022 academic year, we now have an affinity space for students who identify as Black. Breakfast Buddies meets on Thursday mornings at 7:30 am- 8:00 am. One meeting each trimester is open to 5th grade students who identify as Black in preparation for their transition into middle school.
Consider how learning is different for each of us on campus. No brain is entirely alike! This space will offer students the chance to consider themselves as learners. How do we advocate for our learning needs? How might we “think differently” about ourselves in the classroom? And, what does it mean to be a school that embraces many different learners?