Across every academic department, issues of race, diversity, and inclusion are brought into lessons.
Beginning in the arts, 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. Exhibits are intended to educate and engage the community in both debate and introspection about identity and intent in art. QuestionBridge: Black Males, Queer Icons,
and Guerrilla Girls
are a few examples of exhibits that addressed diversity, equity, and inclusion and were multi-disciplinary in their reach. The John Berkey Class of 1991 Visiting Artist Program has been an important vehicle for bringing diverse artists and voices to campus and bridging the studio and the classroom. Millbrook's Art Department also strives to be cognizant of the failings of Western art history and often cooperates with the History Department to provide context for the chronic suppression and degradation of non-white voices.
Over the past five years, the English department has completely revised the canon of literature.In every grade students read selections that offer both "windows and mirrors." This approach to selecting books and the framework with which to teach them emphasizes empathetic, critical, and ethical learning. Students are exposed to life experiences that reflect their own experiences, on one hand, and then alternately open windows into other cultures, challenges, world views. Teachers and students talk explicitly about systemic racism and its history in our country when reading Fences
, the play that begins the English IV World Literature course, while watching Ava Duvernay's Thirteenth,
and while discussing "The House We Live In," a segment from Race: the Power of an Illusion.
VIth form English electives also include DEI and anti-racist teaching, especially Incarceration and Literature, Memoir, and Literature of the Oceans. A humanities elective, Social Justice & Community Engagement, focuses solely on philosophical and systemic questions on poverty, human rights, and justice.
In the past two years, the history department completely revamped the IVth form Twentieth Century World History course, formerly Modern World History (MOWO). Teachers specifically modified the Western-centric narrative around which MOWO was shaped. From US History through senior electives including Theory & Practice of Dissent, Immigration and Migration, and Anthropology, lessons specifically discuss race, and students explore and wrestle with primary documents, debate, and draw conclusions.
Human Development is the space in which explicit DEI training for students happens. While traditionally a IVth form course, the Human Development program has been expanded to all forms, and a new schedule now allows for specific DEI programming on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings for all students.