Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Westridge was built on a mission to provide gender equity in education. Today, we draw upon the spirit of our founder, Mary Lowther Ranney, to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on our campus. These essential components of the Westridge program are imperative to the wellness of students in underrepresented populations and central to academic excellence for all Westridge students.

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.

DEI is one of four focus areas of our strategic plan published in January 2020, prioritizing resources of time and funding to make substantive and meaningful change at our school. Importantly, events in spring 2020 have energized many people across the generations of Westridge to join us in working for change. Recent conversations with Black members of the Westridge community have caused the School to reflect on who we have been and who we want to be moving forward. Additionally, we know our families have been impacted by anti-Asian prejudice during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that students of color, including Black and African American, Latinx, Multiracial, and Asian students, are having different experiences at Westridge. Students deserve to be in a learning environment where racism is explicitly addressed, and white students must understand their role in challenging racism and how they can be advocates for change.

Students deserve to be in a learning environment where racism is explicitly addressed, and white students must understand their role in challenging racism and how they can be advocates for change.

Our Current Work

On August 15, 2021, we released a second update on our work in diversity, equity, inclusion—a companion to our update released in November 2020. The update includes our work to improve school culture through policy changes, community education, and grassroots efforts; increased support for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) students; training on best practices for consistency of anti-bias and DEI practices in teaching; expansion of our network of organizations helping us increase representation in and support of our faculty/staff and student populations; and more. Please click below to read it in full.

Read full update

Recent News

Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month in the Curriculum

We asked our teachers how they have recognized the culture, history, and contributions of Hispanic Americans during Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month in their classrooms. Classes in Lower and Middle School from arts to technology have linked curriculum to the observance of the month, September 15-October 15, and to the celebration of Día de los Muertos, which takes place November 1-2.

Read More about Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month in the Curriculum
Leadership Appointments: Director of Teaching & Learning and Director of Equity

Westridge is thrilled to announce the appointments of two, director-level administrators as part of the implementation of the 2020-2025 Westridge Strategic Plan. Ian Tatum will join us as director of equity, leading our school-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. James Evans will join us as director of teaching and learning.

Read More about Leadership Appointments: Director of Teaching & Learning and Director of Equity
Stand Against Anti-Asian Hate Crime

I write to add my voice to the chorus calling for an end to violence and racism against people of Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander descent following this week’s horrific murders in Atlanta. I use the word “chorus” intentionally because it takes many voices together to fight racism and Americans have been silent too long on racism directed at those of Asian heritage. This is true of us at Westridge as well.

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Students Learn Strategies for Dealing with Microaggressions

In a follow-up to our October student assemblies on microaggressions (which covered what microaggressions are and how they affect our community), Director of Lower & Middle School Dr. Zanita Kelly and facilitator and culturally responsive teaching expert Ian Tatum led another series of assemblies on how to respond to and disrupt microaggressions in the moment they occur.

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Black History Month in the Curriculum

As we continue our work to expand the voices and perspectives in our curriculum, we asked our teachers how they are recognizing Black History Month in the classroom. Classes from grades 4 to 12 and from the arts to math have linked curriculum to the observance of the month. In addition, many faculty members commented that their work this month is part of a year- or semester-long approach.

Read More about Black History Month in the Curriculum
Lower School Student Activities & Leadership Council Teams Up with Middle & Upper School Leaders to Host Lunar New Year Assembly

In lieu of the traditional dragon and lion dances Lower School students perform annually for Lunar New Year, this year the Student Activities & Leadership Council (SALC) joined forces with Middle Schoolers to host an all-school assembly on the origins and traditions of the holiday.

Read More about Lower School Student Activities & Leadership Council Teams Up with Middle & Upper School Leaders to Host Lunar New Year Assembly
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If you are interested in learning more about our work in DEI
over the past several years, please click below.

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