About Us
Mission

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Valuing diversity is essential to Millbrook School’s mission: to prepare our students for a life both individually satisfying and valuable to the greater society. We strive to preserve and renew this vision as we deliberately construct a community that embodies and celebrates the diversity that characterizes the modern world.

Our cultivation of a truly enriching learning environment can only be complete when we attract and retain a diverse population of students, faculty and staff who reflect, welcome, and respect differences including those in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religious affiliation, and sexual orientation.

We expect the members of this community to respect all that makes us unique and explore perspectives that challenge our own. We must therefore equip our community with the language and skills necessary for honest inquiry and discussion, as we empower ourselves to be ethical citizens at Millbrook School and beyond.

Millbrook stands against racism, police brutality, and any harmful actions taken against any person due to race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. The diversity, equity, and inclusivity work we do on campus, and the anti-racism framework that many of our teachers teach from, has been established for many years and is a starting point.

However, we have far more work to do. We will re-double our efforts to better recruit and retain more faculty of color. Additionally, we will ensure that all of our educators are trained in anti-racism framework and that our DEI work is incorporated widely and coherently from the beginning of all Millbrook students’ time on campus in both the classroom and student life spaces. 

To this end, we have two new DEI co-directors, Cam Hardy and Kadeem Rodgers, who have more dedicated time to DEI initiatives and a heightened role on campus and who will continue to improve upon anti-racist training for students and faculty. We have expanded our socio-emotional curriculum to all forms and are developing more opportunities for reflection and challenging conversations. Our new schedule has specifically been designed to make progress in this area.

The lists below identify some of the ways Millbrook has made strides in supporting anti-racism and educating our students and faculty through training, professional development, and curriculum development. We are committed to continuing and improving upon this—there remains a vast amount of important work to be done.

We are proud of the programs with which we have worked, some for many decades, to bring more students of color to Millbrook. We will continue to work to increase financial aid to make a Millbrook education available to more students from all economic backgrounds.

Professional Development & Student Education

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  • SEED

    SEEKING EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND DIVERSITY (SEED)
    The National SEED Project is a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity. Through the organization's methodology, SEED equips participants to connect their lives to one another and to society at large by acknowledging systems of oppression, power, and privilege.

    Millbrook's diversity leaders have been SEED-trained and have, in turn, lead a monthly professional learning group with a cohort of faculty and staff every year. In these groups, they do personal reflective work on Identity and reflect on how that impacts our work with students.
  • POCC and SLDC

    Millbrook has a commitment to sending every faculty member of color who wants to attend the National Association of Independent School's People of Color Conference (POCC) every year, and non-POC faculty are also invited to attend. Faculty members have also attended the White Privilege Conference, which offers a more explicit curriculum for white teaching faculty. 

    Since 1998, when the POCC was held in Puerto Rico, we’ve also tried to send students to the Student Leadership Diversity Conference (SLDC) every year. This year we sent a full contingent of six students – and the result has generated crucially important conversation and action steps, beginning with rewriting our Diversity Statement.
  • Diversity Days & Fishbowls

    A full day devoted to discussion on diversity and recommendations on action steps began at Millbrook in 1999 shortly after Millbrook's first group of students attended the Student Leadership Diversity Conference (SLDC).

    Faculty members ran Diversity Days initially, but more recently, student-led fishbowls around diversity topics have occurred, allowing students to share their experiences, feelings, and insights in a safe space. With schedule changes allowing for Friday evening form activities beginning in September 2020, there will be a lot of opportunity to continue these discussions.

Curriculum

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  • Arts

    Our art department faculty think every day about issues of race, diversity, and inclusion.

    Our gallery shows and visiting artists in recent years have been informed by thinking about gender equity, equity for gay and trans people, and racial justice. QuestionBridge: Black Males is one recent example that was multi-disciplinary in its reach.  This fall, students will curate a photography exhibit of the recent protests by taken explicitly by black photographers. 

    Students are examining the history of how black movements have sometimes been exploited by white artists, and they are thinking a lot about ethics and photojournalism.
  • English

    Over the past five years, the English department has completely revised the canon of literature we teach from 9th-12th grade.  We make a conscious effort in every form to expose students to voices that offer both “windows and mirrors," a metaphor that Emily Styles created in an essay written for the National SEED project. "Windows and mirrors" suggests that students grow into more fully human learners—empathetic, critical, ethical— when they are exposed to life experiences that reflect their own, as well as experiences that seem very different, that offer windows into other cultures, challenges, world views.    

    This is also a criteria the department uses when selecting books and the framework from which we teach all English lessons, from Shakespeare to Jesmyn Ward. 

    We dive deeply into anti-racist teaching and talk explicitly about systemic racism and its history in our country when reading Fences, the play that begins the English IV World Literature course, during which students watch Ava Duvernay’s Thirteenth and a segment from 
    Race: the Power of an Illusion. That segment, “The House We Live In,” traces the history of housing inequity and the practice of red-lining in the US, expanding the lens through which students read the play. 

    That anti-racist framework is weaved through the English V American Literature curriculum throughout the year, as students explore and, in many ways, explode the idea of the American Dream.

    VIth form English electives also include DEI and anti-racist teaching, especially Incarceration and Literature, Memoir, and Literature of the Oceans, and Kathy Havard continues to teach an elective, Social Justice & Community Engagement, where students focus solely on philosophical and systemic questions on poverty, human rights, and justice.
  • History

    IVth form Twentieth Century World History was revamped from Modern World History (MOWO) specifically to address the Western-centric narrative around which the old MOWO course was shaped.

    In US History lessons, race is central. US history classes are informed by an anti-racist lens and ask students to explore and wrestle with primary documents, debate, and draw their own conclusions.

    Senior history electives—Theory & Practice of Dissent, Immigration and Migration, and Anthropology—all have diversity, equity, and inclusion lenses.
  • Human Development

    Human Development is the space in which explicit DEI training for students happens. While traditionally only a IVth form course, Cam Hardy has incorporated this work into a IIIrd form Hum Dev course as well, which will be expanded upon in a new schedule this year allowing for Saturday form programs.

Partnerships & Scholarships

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Resources

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