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Board of Trustees Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This week, we received several responses and a petition regarding our Head of School's expression of concern and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Many questioned the school's level of commitment to DEI and challenged us to do better. We take these concerns seriously and welcome the opportunity to engage in the critical thought and action needed to ensure that Wooster is driving change that is needed in our country.

Wooster School condemns racism and discrimination, institutional and otherwise, and is committed to cultivating a community that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. This goal demands listening, learning and long-term, financially-supported actions with measurable outcomes and accountability.

The Board and Head of School met to reflect, begin ongoing discussions, and take initial steps. While we believe that many at Wooster, including the Head of School, have made good-faith efforts to foster DEI, we recognize that we need to recommit and prioritize the goals of DEI. We embrace this moment as a call to action. Our goal is to corral the energy of our entire student-focused community to work together on learning and unlearning how to better create a culture and curriculum that overcome biases and support mutual respect and equity. This will begin immediately and be done mindfully and strategically. We commit to these immediate actions:

  • Form a permanent Board DEI committee to work directly with a team of students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff to identify the necessary plans to move us forward
  • Provide funding for full-time leadership to drive DEI and social justice initiatives
  • Engage experts to help us establish meaningful efforts and measurable benchmarks for DEI, reflecting our student body, faculty and curriculum

Recognizing that change requires funding, members of the Board individually pledged more than $100,000 in donations specifically directed to DEI and social justice efforts.

Wooster always strives to be a community where each person feels authentically seen and celebrated and social justice is part of the fabric of our everyday existence. When we fall short, we hope to learn from our mistakes, make positive changes, and remain open to the views of others. We value the passion of our current families and alumni. We hope you continue to be actively involved as we reimagine our DEI commitment.

Matt Byrnes and the Board of Trustees of Wooster School

June 12, 2020

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