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A group of students around a computer.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Meet Ivy Alphonse-Crean
DCD’s Director of DEI

Ivy arrived at DCD this summer and joins 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 work 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.

“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 the Horizons Program. Institutions like DCD are doing amazing things, but people from different parts of the organization don’t always know what’s outside their scope. In this first year, 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

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Celebrating Our Differences, Connecting as A Community

DCD students learn how to actively work against racism and identify systems and structures that fuel inequity in our society. Their passion for this work comes from their care and fondness for each other and their inherent sense of fairness. Our teachers help students develop the skills and opportunities to connect deeply with each other across differences and perspectives. We offer developmentally appropriate ways for children to talk about race and identity, learn from each other, and shape their own sense of self over time.

We know that if we create a community in which every member is safe, valued, and treated with dignity, children will look for — and try to create the same when they leave school.

A whiteboard describing the definitions of allyship and white allyship.
A description of a class regarding bias and perception in media and advertising.

DEI at DCD: Our Vision – Today and Tomorrow

We’re proud of our inclusive, respectful community and everyone at DCD takes part in it — our board, faculty, staff, students and parents. DEI profoundly affects the way children navigate their relationships and the way we operate as a community, so we’ve made it a top priority and a cornerstone of our strategic plan. Our immediate goals include:

  • Building a more diverse faculty, staff, and student body
  • Creating an inclusive community where we all share a sense of belonging
  • Putting our collective passion toward social justice and equity

Taking Action: Willing to Learn, Wanting to Improve

DEI is never finished. It’s an ongoing process through which we’re always learning and working to improve. That includes:

  • Evaluating our hiring protocols and recruitment systems to make sure we consider a range of backgrounds and bring in the most talented and thoughtful educators
  • Adapting our curriculum to be more conscious of the critical role of race and identity to help prepare our students to navigate these issues on campus and beyond DCD
  • Focusing student and family recruitment and retention on valuing a diverse community and making our school reflect the broader community.
Children representing different ethnicities dancing in the classroom

DEI: A Full Community Commitment

DEI is a community-wide commitment and everyone at DCD plays a role:

  • Our Board of Trustees evaluates DCD and community-wide trends and data, determines our long-term strategy and monitors progress toward our goals
  • Our recently appointed DEI Director will oversee all of the school’s DEI programs and initiatives
  • Our faculty and staff are working to enhance their equity and inclusion programming, better understand the role of identity in relationships and strengthen our curriculum’s focus on DEI issues
  • Our parents are actively building our collective capacity to work against bias and prejudice, through a parent-led SEED Group and newly formed parent Anti-Racism group
  • Our students participate in age-appropriate activities and discussion groups to explore issues of race, identity, and inclusion. With literature, special speakers, special units, our faculty is committed to delivering a curriculum that reflects windows and mirrors for engaging students in an inclusive learning experience.
Students involved in social justice and affinity groups

Opportunities to Engage

Lower School – An extracurricular Culture Club where students of color can connect and engage in activities together.
Middle School – An Affinity Group for students of color, a Social Justice group, and community service activities.
Parent Groups – An Affinity Group for families of color and the LGBTQ community, and anti-racist learning spaces for parents.
CommUNITY Events – Series featuring speakers Dr. Howard Stevenson, Claude M. Steele, Mahzarin R. Banaji, and Rosetta Lee.

Two people standing on stage about to give a presentation or speech.

Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity – SEED

DCD has established a SEED Program for faculty, staff and current parents. SEED is a national organization based in Wellesley, MA that promotes conversations about equity, inclusion, and diversity to support personal, organizational and societal change. Program participants commit to a series of monthly workshops for the current academic year. DCD runs separate cohorts for parents and staff. Several faculty members have already led SEED conversations on campus.