The growing violence and increase in hate incidents against Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities over the past year is a terrible reality that we must acknowledge and work against.
Diversity at Solebury
Diversity Mission Statement
Solebury School promotes a profound respect for each individual and recognizes how diversity enriches a community. This deeply engrained philosophy dates to our founding in 1925. Our inclusive community of learners challenges assumptions and acknowledges differences of every kind, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, faith preference, age, physical ability, and more. We value and actively cultivate our diverse composition of faculty, staff, and students on campus.
A Commitment to Inclusivity
Solebury School works to honor our Diversity Mission Statement in several ways.
Each year, Solebury School sends students to outreach programs such as MARD and SCHout. On January 23, 2021 several students and faculty members attended the virtual Springside Chestnut Hill Multi-School Diversity Conference, SCHout. This year’s theme, What Do You Stand For, strived to imbue students with a sense of urgency to connect, collaborate, and take action for social justice. Attendees heard a keynote by A'Dorian Murray-Thomas, participated in a story exchange designed to cultivate radical empathy, and engaged in meaningful dialogue throughout the day in a series of social action workshops.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Group
Comprised of students and faculty and organized by teacher Jen Perez, the group hosts town hall meetings every three weeks to help uncover inherent bias(es) and to offer a supportive and encouraging environment to discuss everything from race, immigration, cultural exploration, and more.
Events and All-School Assemblies
Students conceived Solebury's "Diversity: How Different Are We?" all-school assembly held in May 2019, which questioned one's awareness and biases in a constructive, educational, and supportive environment. (See bottom of this article for more about the assembly.) Other smaller events are hosted throughout the year. For example, in spring and fall 2020, our Biracial Buddies and LatinX clubs organized Candid Conversations. Topics included the BLM Movement, Race and Pride, What does Latinx mean to Hispanics, and more. These discussions were an open forum for attendees to feel safe and supported while also airing out their feelings around race, what is happening in our communities, or current world information. It was also a place to sit back, listen, and be reflective.
Diversity Day will be held on April 28, 2021.
Finally, Solebury also hosts the affinity clubs below...
An affinity group for students with mixed racial identities. The group was formed as a space for students who identify as multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic, or racially ambiguous to meet, discuss, and share experiences in their lives in and out of school.
Advisor: Sarah Lanzetta
Black Student Union (BSU)
An affinity group for students who identify as African Americans.
Advisor: Greg Lewis
Intercultural Student Association
All international and domestic students are welcome to attend, meetings focus on how we can best share the diverse national backgrounds represented at Solebury School. A number of special events open to the entire school community are also planned by this organization.
Advisor: Cinnie Wappel
LatinX is one of the many affinity groups that Solebury School has to offer and is run by Jen and Dan Perez. LatinX is a safe space where anyone who identifies or is an ally to the community can come and just be together. In addition, as a club, we plan and organize fundraisers and cultural events such as coat drives or Day of the Dead cookie decorating to bring attention to issues we care about and to educate our Solebury community about our culture. Being able to be with people who understand your life experiences and in some cases have been through them too is just one of the many reasons that LatinX and all affinity groups are a crucial part of our community.
Advisor: Jen Perez
Open to people of all sexual orientations, the club was created to discuss and ensure safety and support on campus for all. We network with similar organizations at other schools, and we serve as activists for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender causes.
Advisor: Stacie Anastasio
Human history is mostly evolutionary in its nature, punctuated by moments of life-altering revolutions. Upheaval and unrest are the engine of radical change—both positive and negative—for humans and the societies they create. Solebury students are now witnesses to such upheaval and unrest. A global pandemic has altered everything about how we work, learn, travel, vacation, eat, gather, recreate, interact, and on and on. Layered over this global threat, centuries of systemic racism that was built into the very fabric of our nation at its birth is being challenged in ways no American has ever seen.
In this moment, I think we educators have a powerful opportunity to impact the lives of our students, ourselves, and each other by creatively and thoughtful rethinking how and what we teach. Consider this: how can our course curriculums fully represent the diversity of human experiences and perspectives? In this moment, how can we make the Black voice more central? It is not enough to simply include Black voices as I know many of you do…