Upper Schoolers were out and about learning salsa and merengue during Baila Conmigo ("dance with me") in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month hosted by the Latine Affinity.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice
Westridge was built on a mission to provide gender equity in education.
Today, we are working to expand diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) on our campus.
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are essential components of the Westridge program. They are imperative to the wellness of students in underrepresented populations, central to academic excellence for all Westridge students, and critical to the development of thoughtful, compassionate human beings and informed global citizens committed to ethical action.
Our work to understand and expand diversity in all its forms, including racial, ethnic, socio-economic, neurological, and gender, and to create an equitable and inclusive environment to support all community members, is an ongoing process—and one we are deeply committed to.
DEIJ is one of four focus areas of our 2020-2025 strategic plan, prioritizing resources of time and funding to make substantive and meaningful change at our school. We recognize that students of color are having different experiences at Westridge, and we believe students deserve to be in a learning environment where racism is explicitly addressed, and where all students can learn to be advocates for change.
We are actively working to:
- Identify and eliminate biases and gaps in our programs and policies.
- Make the programmatic changes and do the community-wide education and growth necessary to make Westridge a school where all students, families, and faculty and staff feel they belong and are affirmed, valued, and supported.
- Increase diversity of all kinds, especially racial and socioeconomic, because we know that all students benefit social-emotionally and academically from learning in a more diverse environment.
Director of Equity
I celebrate our commitment to this work! It has the power to transform our culture and community in ways that will dynamically improve students’ experiences and outcomes, and I am excited to engage in it alongside you.
Director of Equity
On Wednesday morning, Middle School students gathered in the PAC to learn about affinities! With guidance from Dean of Lower and Middle School Student Voices Tamara Jaffe ’08, students learned about what affinities are (spaces for students of shared cultural, racial, ethnic, or other backgrounds to meet, support one another, and discuss various topics) and why creating identity-based spaces is important.
This week, Upper School students had the chance to learn about and sign up for clubs and affinities led by their peers, as well as service opportunities from local and other service organizations as part of Fair Week.
Hundreds from Westridge families and alumnae attended the WPA Night Market, a successful and beautiful evening of connection and shared cultures through food, games, activities, and entertainment from around the world!
During the Q&A, Fried spoke about antisemitism—what it is, how it's prevalent in day-to-day life, and how to combat it.
On the last day of Black History Month, members of the Black Student Union (BSU) participated in Love Your Hair Day, a day inspired by the CROWN Act passed in 2022.
Inspired by the bright, bold, design style of artist and activist Corita Kent, students created collagraphs to express an idea within the broader topic of diversity and inclusivity.
Westridge alumna Alicia Henry ’01 currently serves on the Alumnae Board as co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice (DEIJ) committee. A resident of Washington D.C., she has worked in politics for 12 years, including for Senator Barbara Boxer, then-Representative Karen Bass, and currently for Washington D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.
"Raising Our Voice" culminated the students' second quarter study of legal changes for Black Americans during the civil rights movement, prompting them to think about how Black Americans have effected change in the cultural landscape of America.
Upper School student coaches for the Writing Center met with Westridge Director of Equity Ian Tatum to learn about how equity and bias tie into their work with peers.
Westridge celebrated Lunar New Year (which falls on January 22 this year and marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit) across campus!
On Friday, our Upper School Student Voices leadership group led our annual Martin Luther King Jr. assembly, titling it “Voices of Change.”
Six Westridge students and four staff members traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and People of Color Conference respectively.
Introducing restorative practices was high among Director of Equity Ian Tatum’s priorities for his first year at Westridge (the 2021-2022 school year).
Middle School English students prepared to embark on writing and presenting their own original stories with some tips from special guest Tom Allard, a professional storyteller, actor, and activist who is part of the Loyal Shawnee band of the Cherokee Nation.
- Student Affinity & Alliance Groups
- Student Voices Course & Assemblies
- Middle School JEDI Club
- Lower School Council
- Student Lunches with Director of Equity Ian Tatum
- NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)
- NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC) & White Privilege Conference
- Parent Affinity Groups & Gatherings
- Alumnae DEIJ Committee & Affinity Groups
Our Community Updates:
Overview of Our Work So Far
As we work at both institutional and individual levels to become an antiracist community, we are also committed to sharing transparent, holistic updates on what that work looks like in practice.
Together, these updates provide a comprehensive overview of our work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice at Westridge, with more to come.