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.

Faculty, students, and alumni are working together to build a detailed plan. Following are some of the action items being developed:
  • Re-double our efforts to better recruit and retain more faculty of color. 
  • Incorporate DEI work widely and coherently from the beginning of all Millbrook students’ time on campus in both the classroom and student life spaces.
  • Improve anti-racist training for students and faculty. Two newly appointed DEI co-directors, Cam Hardy and Kadeem Rodgers, have more dedicated time to DEI initiatives, have a heightened role on campus, and will lead this charge.
  • Expand the Human Development curriculum to all forms and develop more opportunities for reflection and challenging conversations. This has been an evolving plan over the past couple of years. Our new 2020-2021 schedule has specific time set aside on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings for programs, discussion, and activities related to DEI.
  • Continue to work to increase the endowment, thus increasing financial aid, to make a Millbrook education available to more students from all economic backgrounds.
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.

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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  • Across the Curriculum

    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.

Partnerships & Scholarships

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  • Partnerships to bring more students of color to Millbrook

    We are proud of the programs with which we have worked, some for many decades, to bring more students of color to Millbrook:

    A Better Chance
    The Boy's Club of New York
    City Squash
    De LaSalle Academy 
    East Harlem School
    George Jackson Academy
    Harlem Academy
    Harlem Lacrosse
    Inspiring Young Minds
    KIPP Academy
    NJ SEEDS
    NYC Boy's & Girl's Club
    Oliver Scholars
    Prep for Prep
    Right to Dream Academy
    Squash Haven
    Stoklosa Middle School
    Wadleigh Scholars
  • Scholarships dedicated to students of color

    Conte Scholars
    Dana White Scholar
    Kenan Scholars
    Watts Hill '44 Scholar

Resources

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