Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

What is DEI?

DEI is an evolving conceptual framework that seeks to support all members of a community or organization as they pay attention and respond to their differences and similarities with the goal of ensuring that all involved may achieve their full potential.


Diversity refers to the differences among us–not all of which may be visible–with the understanding that no two people who share a particular difference will experience any part of their identity in precisely the same way.


Equity requires an understanding of individuals’ needs and a sustained commitment to providing the resources and access they require to avail themselves of the community’s full range of available opportunities.


Inclusion refers to policies, practices, and actions that demonstrate respect and acceptance.

Belonging, it should be added, is a cousin to inclusion; it is not synonymous with it. Belonging is one of inclusion’s ideal results. It manifests as deep feelings of safety and trust, being cared for and valued on one’s own terms, and confidence that in speaking with one’s authentic voice one will be heard and responded to with respect.

DEI at Stevenson

We are committed to applying these concepts to our lives together because to do so is consistent with our mission and core values, and because we believe that the skills associated with them are closely linked to all of the other skills that are essential to a Stevenson education, such as critical thinking, listening and speaking, collaboration, citizenship, and leadership.

In September 2018, School leadership and the board of trustees identified the following commitments and goals as the central pillars of Stevenson’s current approach to this important work:

  • Being guided by an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion that takes account of race, class, religion, gender, and sexuality diversity, physical and cognitive differences among people, and other relevant categories of difference as established by our non-discrimination policy and emergent educational best practices.
  • Recruiting, orienting, and retaining employees and trustees from groups historically under-represented in independent schools.
  • Recruiting, orienting, and retaining students from groups historically under-represented in independent schools, and providing appropriate support for families new to Stevenson and/or new to independent education.
  • Providing support for faculty with respect to relevant curriculum design and advisory relationships.
  • Developing an inclusive and transcultural curriculum across all divisions.
  • Developing programs and events for employees, students, and parents; and material support for professional development workshops and programming for employees.
  • Identifying and addressing systemic barriers embedded within policies, practices, programs, and services that inadvertently exclude individuals or groups owing to aspects of their identity.
  • Assessing the true financial cost of students’ engagement in the Stevenson experience, and providing the resources required for students from families of limited means to participate equitably.
  • Supporting student leadership and affinity groups.
  • With the aforementioned points in mind, raising funds and allocating resources for employee recruitment and training, curriculum development, community programming, tuition, and non-tuition financial aid, consulting, and research.

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