Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Who you become is more important than what you become.
KiKi Davis, Director of Institutional Equity and Diversity
Come As You Are
It is that simple. We want you just the way you are. We invite students of all backgrounds to be part of our community, and in keeping with our Episcopal identity, we respect everyone, affirming not only their value as people—and as members of our community—but also the value of their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs.
This creates a culture of dialogue and raises the level of discourse, helping to form citizens of the world who can work collaboratively to address complex challenges. People who are educated in a community based on understanding and respect have the sensitivity and cultural competency to successfully engage with a wide range of people.
There is a place for you at our table.
The qualitative and quantitative approach to inclusive communities means creating a school environment that not only reflects our community and our world through the diversity of ethnicities, cultures, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, perspectives, and beliefs, but also ensures there is a place at the table and a voice in the conversation. The work to create a community that is culturally competent and practices respectful discourse is at the center of our work in diversity and equity.
Our Commitment to DEIB
In 2020 the Board of Governors formed a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee chaired by Montez Anderson ’93, Board Member, and Phil Herget, Past Board Chair and Past Parent (’07, ’08, ’10, ’17) that includes members from many constituencies in our community. The committee oversees progress towards the implementation of the Action Steps for Racial Justice. Click on the image below to be directed to the Action Steps.
Rooted in our mission to inspire a passion for learning and to celebrate diversity, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School affirms the unique value of each member of our community as a child of God. We seek to provide opportunities to practice the virtue of goodness.
Respectful discourse is the practice of people with differing perspectives engaging in active listening and the exchange of ideas to seek mutual understanding and personal growth.
Our school’s mission and the mission of the Episcopal Church call us to uphold respectful discourse as a way of recognizing the diversity of God’s creation and as a means of bridging ideological gaps, leading to relational reconciliation and transformation.
- Parent Education Series: Let's Talk Race, led by Dorri Scott, an experienced diversity and inclusion facilitator.
- Annual Middle School Diversity Conference
- Divisional Multicultural Nights
- Upper School Speaker Series & Lunch Forums
- Colloquium for the Common Good
- Student Diversity Leadership Conference at People of Color Conference
- Diversity in the DMV
- VDN Conference
- GSA Summit
- Social Entrepreneurship Summit
Faculty and Student Affinity Groups (LS, MS, US):
- AAMATE (Black/African American males)
- ACT (Asians Coming Together group of Asian American Students)
- Boys of Color Affinity Group (MS)
- First Generation
- Girls of Color Affinity Group (MS)
- Juntos (Latino Students)
- Jewish Affinity Group (JAG)
- Sisterhood (Black/African American females)
- Women Affinity Group
- Young Boys of Color (LS)
- Young Girls of Color (LS)
Student Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Groups
Alphabet Alliance (MS)
Student Committee on Racial Equity-S.C.O.R.E. (US)
- Faculty of Color Affinity Group
- LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group
- Steering Committee on Anti-Racist Programming
- Mentor program for Faculty in Color in Years 2-5
- Parent Affinity Groups (All School)
- Independent School Faculty/Staff/Administrator of Color in the DMV Group
- National Association of Independent School People of Color Conference
- Virginia Diversity Network
Upper School Guest Speakers and Visitors
- Judith Heumann, Internationally recognized disabilities activist and author
- James Megessto, Lawyer and Indigenous Rights Advocate, speaker and member of the Onondaga Nation
- Schuyler Bailar, First Openly Transgender Division I Swimmer - Assembly Speaker (2021)
- Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet - SSSAS Poet in Residence (2018)
- John Chapman, SSSAS Graduate and Alexandria City Council Member-Upper School Assembly Speaker and 5th Grade Leadership Series Speaker
- Marcia Chatelain, Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University - Colloquium Keynote Speaker (2019)
- Elizabeth Eckford, Member of the Little Rock Nine - Assembly Speaker (2019)
- Alysia Harris, SSSAS Graduate and Professional Poet - Chapel Speaker and Poet in Residence 2018, 2019
- Chris Newman, SSSAS Graduate and Organic Farmer/Activist - Keynote Speaker, Colloquium for the Common Good
- Vishavjit Singh, “Being Sikh after 911 - Racial Implications” - Assembly Speaker in MS/US (2018)
- Professional development speakers have included: Howard Stevenson, Constance Clayborn professor of Urban Education at University of Pennsylvania and author of "Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools (2019); Peggy McIntosh, former Associate Director of the Wellesley Center for Women, co-founder of SEED, and author of "Unpacking the Invisible Backpack of White Privilege" (2016); Andre Robert Lee, Screening of film “Prep School Negro," professional development session with faculty, spoke with students of color about Black independent school experience (2012).
- Required training session by division of how to handle specific scenarios around race. (Fall 2018)
- Gender identity workshop by Ted Lewis, Executive Director of Side by Side. (2017)
- Donna Ryan Faculty and Administrator Multicultural Seminar for all new employees. (This has been a contractually-required program for over 15 years.)
- Cultural Competency training for all staff.
- Annual coaches workshop on anti-bias and inclusive practices.
- SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Monthly Dinners and Discussions (2014-present)
- Faculty/Staff Examining Whiteness Group (meets 7 times per year since the fall of 2018)
- Steering Committee for Anti-Racist Programming (group of faculty members JK-12 that looks at curriculum development from an anti-racist lens (2019))
- Anti-bias training for hiring managers
- Professional development speakers have included: Howard Stevenson, Constance Clayborn professor of Urban Education at University of Pennsylvania and author of "Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools (2019); Peggy McIntosh, former Associate Director of the Wellesley Center for Women, co-founder of SEED, and author of "Unpacking the Invisible Backpack of White Privilege" (2016); Debby Irving, author of "Waking Up White" (will be rescheduled this year); Andre Robert Lee, Screening of film “Prep School Negro," professional development session with faculty, spoke with students of color about Black independent school experience (2012).
Recent Faculty/Staff Reading and Listening:
- "So You Want To Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Olou
- "Waking Up White" by Debby Irving
- "How To Be An Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi
- "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- "Real American" by Julie Lythcott-Haims
- "The Fire Next Time" by James Baldwin
- Scene on Radio, Season 2 (Seeing White)
SSSAS has developed a hiring handbook that integrates equitable and inclusive practices throughout the hiring process. All hiring managers were trained on equitable hiring practices and the role of unconscious bias in hiring decisions.
The current faculty is 22% faculty of color, and the percentage of faculty of color hired during the past three years is:
- 2018-2019- 37%
- 2019-2020- 24%
- 2020-2021- 37%