News Details

Nichole LeFebvre


Getting to know our Board's Diversity Committee, a Q+A with Head of School Crystal Land, Board Chair Tejal Patel, and Diversity Committee Co-Chairs Vangeria Harvey and Rosanna Mucetti 

Q: What prompted the establishment of the official new Board sub-committee?

Crystal: As one of the three core pillars in the Head-Royce mission, diversity has always been a priority. Over time, we’ve evolved to more deeply embed diversity, equity, and inclusion into our practices, such as the establishment of the Office of Equity and Inclusion in 2015. We also dedicated an Equity and Inclusion goal in our Bridge to 2022 Strategic Plan which was formalized in 2016-2017. Our objective was to intentionally create structures to advance a community of inclusion to meet our mission. 

While we made progress over the last several years, it became urgently clear during this summer that we needed to accelerate our efforts in the midst of national and local events and movements, such as Black@HRS. An immediate action was to launch our DEI Action Plan as well as a Board DEI committee to support policy and strategic direction of the School and respond to the critical needs of our students of color. I’ve personally appreciated this Board Committee’s role in hearing the stories of our students and assessing the myriad ways in which the school can respond, grow and change for the future of our students.  

Tejal: The events of last spring and summer made it abundantly clear that we, as a school, and as a Board needed to do more––not only to respond to the needs of our students––but also to build awareness, training and incorporate a DEI lens over the matters in which the Board has oversight. This is essential so we, as a Board, can be full partners to the Head of School and our DEI Director––and so that we can serve as role models for our entire community––students and adults––of our mission and values. 
 

 

Q: What do you hope will be achieved this year? In five years?

Vangeria: I am encouraged by the commitment by the Board and the Administration. I look forward to better connecting the DEI action plan to the work of the board, including our own training on identity and cultural literacy, and use of a DEI framework for our committees and we have launched an E+I Council that represents members of our community to help us in this effort. 

Longer term, I hope to see thoughtful changes that put race, equity and inclusion inside of our curriculum. By continuing to evolve our policies and programs to deepen our DEI work, we’ll become a stronger community that is truly one that allows all students to belong.

 

Q: What initiative do you feel is most important to ensure students feel safe/are treated with respect?

Rosanna: I am pleased to see how quickly Head-Royce created and launched a comprehensive Bias Incident Reporting system that gives students a voice and security in knowing they can speak up if they feel they have been unfairly treated. It’s an important first step. I am also confident that the comprehensive climate assessment will break open new ideas for the school to ensure student-focused approaches are embedded more deeply into the culture and practices at Head-Royce.


 

Goals and purpose of the Board DEI Committee

  1. Board Growth

    1. Develop the expectations for Board members

    2. Support the Committee on Trustees as they seek to expand representation of diverse constituents

    3. Develop/Ensure a DEI framework and lens is applied in all Board committees

    4. Develop a common language and understanding of the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion to support the leadership of the school

  2. Climate Assessment

    1. Review and Interview DEI Auditor in partnership with Director of E&I

    2. Review, respond and communicate to the findings of the climate assessment

  3. DEI Efforts

    1. Provide support and evaluation of the DEI priorities set forth by HOS and Director of E&I

    2. Ensure alignment between DEI efforts and core mission

  4. Support the Office and of Equity and Inclusion and School Administration as we engage with broader school constituents