Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
DEI at DCD is, first and foremost, about making sure everyone feels seen, heard, and safe on campus. When children feel that they have a space and place on campus, they are able to focus on their learning rather than overcoming the hurdle of “do I belong here?” It’s also worth noting that research has linked a diverse community with positive academic outcomes for learners. We’re proud of our inclusive, respectful community that fosters a sense of belonging in our students and families. From our faculty and staff to our students to our parents and caregivers, you will see engagement in DEI work at every level of our school. When members of a community feel affirmed (seen) by others, they can more easily build a culture of empathy and understanding. We know that if we create a community in which every member feels safe, valued, and treated with dignity, members will in turn try to create the same kind of community when outside of DCD.
Diversity: The presence of difference in many forms in our community.
Equity: Fair treatment, opportunity, and access to resources for all people within a community.
Inclusion: Feeling a sense of welcome as it relates to identity, perspective, feelings, and physical presence.
DEI at a Glance
- 29 towns and 6 distinct Boston neighborhoods served by DCD
- 32% Students of color for the 2022/23 schoolyear
- 100% of faculty and staff have participated in DEI professional development
- 62% of faculty and staff have participated in SEED
- 7% of faculty and staff have been trained as SEED leaders
- 8 major religions represented at DCD
- 8 student affinity spaces and dialogue groups
- 2 faculty and staff affinity spaces and dialogue groups
- 4 parent and caregiver affinity spaces and dialogue groups
At DCD, we define diversity and inclusion as an umbrella term that includes race, gender, age, ethnicity, culture, nationality, family configuration, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, social and economic class, physical and learning differences, and religion, as well as other characteristics that contribute to each individual’s full identity.
We strive to provide an inclusive multicultural education, which celebrates the diversity of our community and the larger world. At DCD, respect permeates all aspects of school life. We want children to learn to understand and value multiple perspectives, identify and reject stereotypes and prejudices, and work for equity and justice. Dedham Country Day is strongly committed to ensuring a sense of community in which every member is safe, valued, and treated with dignity. We believe that a broad range of experiences and viewpoints enhances learning and enriches life.
Meet Ivy Alphonse-Crean
DCD’s Director of DEI
Ivy arrived at DCD in the summer of 2021, joining us from the Collegiate School, a K-12 school in Manhattan where she served as a Grade 6 Dean and English faculty member. She brings a longstanding commitment and passion for DEI and has already begun several initiatives that support DCD’s ongoing work in building a learning environment and community where every member feels valued, celebrated, and supported. Ivy is a Board-member for Horizons at DCD and has written for Independent Schools Magazine and the anthology Teaching Brilliant Beautiful Black Girls.
“There is already a lot of good work happening at DCD. There are SEED groups, affinity spaces for students and families, clubs and events, and a Horizons Program housed on campus as well. In addition to these programs, our curriculum from pre-k to 8th grade encourages students to embrace difference, to question, and to form their own opinions. Institutions like DCD are doing amazing things, but people from different parts of the organization don’t always know what’s happening on campus outside of their daily role and responsibilities. In these first years at DCD, I see my role as the person connecting all these great initiatives in the classrooms and around the school and making sure they are all under one unified purpose and working in concert”. – Ivy Alphonse-Crean
Opportunities to Engage
Students – Students are offered a range of affinity spaces and dialogue groups in which to engage on campus, guided by trained faculty and staff.
Families – DCD offers several spaces and groups for families to connect and enhance their understanding of issues relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Faculty and Staff – Our faculty and staff are committed to expanding their fluency in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and participate in a number of workshops and professional development opportunities to do so.
Annual Events – DCD offers a wide variety of exciting annual events related to diversity, equity, inclusion and social-emotional learning.
Broadly speaking, our main goals at DCD related to DEI are as follows:
- To continue building and retaining a diverse faculty, staff and student body
- To create and support an inclusive community where all members feel a sense of belonging
- To channel our collective passion towards social justice and equity