Forming a Strong DEI Team and Committing to Training and Policy Review

October 13, 2021

Within the school’s long-term goal to uphold and enhance our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), several critical initiatives were prioritized for this past summer and fall based on the significant amount of input from all the school’s stakeholders in late spring, 2021. While many of these required the faculty/staff and students to be back on campus, it was important to establish a foundation over the summer break to allow this important work to continue throughout the school year.

“With our mission as our guide, our school community is rising to the needs and challenges of a complex and diverse community here on our own campus, as well as at the local and national levels,” noted Frank Miley, President. “We are dedicated to our role in honoring the dignity of each individual. This is hard work and requires each of us to do our part to further the cause of justice.”

Miley further points out that significant progress has been made since the school announced its commitment to Dismantling Racism in the summer of 2020. “Our school recognizes that not only do we, as individuals, need to grow and expand our own perspectives on justice, we must establish a framework at our school so all of our students are supported during these critical and formative years of high school. I am very proud of the team we have assembled to lead our community forward this year.”

Progress since last Spring includes:

  • Creation of Director of Diversity position. Stan Davis ‘88, a DEI specialist for schools and organizations, was hired as the Interim Director of Diversity with specific responsibility to direct the formalization of a comprehensive DEI plan, work directly with both students and faculty, and lead the search for a permanent Director.   

  • Renewal of Dr. Anton Treuer as a Diversity Consultant with responsibility for ongoing support of the Dismantling Racism Steering Committee, faculty and staff training, and strategic support.

  • Creation of Student Advocate position. Crystal Flint, with 15 years of experience in working in advocacy with students of color at the high school and college level, was hired to be a liaison between students and administration, lead AFAM, work with student leaders on cultural celebrations, and provide opportunities to increase student engagement.

  • Enhancement of mental health resources for people of color. Rev. Dr. Ronald Bell will provide psychological and spiritual support for faculty and students, including individual counseling for CDH students.

  • Development of a Student Success and Mentoring program for students of color. Kenneth Udoibok ‘16 has joined the staff as a Student Mentor, with specific responsibility in the Learning Lab as well as working with alumni willing to mentor current students.

  • Continuation of the Dismantling Racism Steering Committee, consisting of faculty, staff, alumni, Board members, and parents, to continue its important work and meet regularly during the school year. 

  • Continuation of the Student DEI Advisory Board.

  • Continued commitment to the AFam group (African-American student affinity group). Led by Crystal Flint, this group meets weekly to build community.

  • Year-long commitment to Faculty/Staff professional development on racial sensitivity, implicit bias and cultural competency, and anti-bias classroom. A plan to support and guide faculty and staff is being developed, utilizing experts in the field outside of CDH.

    • A 3.5-hour professional development session during Faculty/Staff workshops, and a second professional development training session dedicated to DEI was presented to all staff.  Mandatory trainings focused on Cultural Competence and Bias-free Classrooms will be provided for all faculty/staff this year as part of our ongoing Professional Development Plan  

    • Bi-weekly facilitated DEI-focused discussion groups will be offered for faculty/staff.

    • Bi-weekly facilitated DEI-focused literature study groups will be offered for faculty/staff.

  • Year-long opportunities for students to expand their personal understanding of racial justice. 

    • Bi-weekly, facilitated discussion groups for students will be offered to all students. Bi-weekly facilitated literature study groups for students will be offered to all students.

  • Commitment for the President and Principal to meet directly with student leaders during the year to further dialogue relating to the students of color experience at CDH.

  • Establishment of a framework to review the student handbook, discipline policies, and practices for evidence of bias and to develop a plan to address any bias or cultural insensitivity.

    • A new ‘Hate Speech’ policy was developed and adopted starting in 2021-22, which lists clear violation consequences. This is published in the Handbook, and was a focused element of the student body’s annual orientation at the beginning of the school year.

    • Commitment to establishing a Restorative Justice element in disciplinary matters.

    • Work on specific areas of concern, such as uniforms or hair policies, was begun as part of the Dismantling Racism Initiative, and will continue this year.  

  • Commitment to address the recruitment of people of color for faculty/staff positions.  

Members of our community are encouraged to check the CDH Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage for updates and more information throughout the year. For more immediate information, please feel free to email Stan Davis ’88, Interim Director of Diversity.  


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