Just over a week after the murder of George Floyd, over 700 attendees, including members of New Jersey Governor Murphy's staff, participated in the student designed and run 12 Hours of Action event.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Peddie School embraces the sustained and ongoing work of making our community inclusive, safe and welcoming for all of our students and adults.
We are committed to the intellectual, social and moral growth of each of our students; we intentionally craft an educational community of individuals with diverse talents and backgrounds and we inspire each of our students to strive for the highest quality of citizenship.
To achieve this mission, Peddie seeks to remove every barrier to access, equity and safety for every member of our school. Each day, we work toward a more inclusive, antiracist and open community. And thus, we begin our labors anew.
School leaders are actively listening to the stories courageously shared by our students, alumni and community members of color and other marginalized communities at Peddie. We welcome you to send your experiences and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diku Rogers, an English teacher at Peddie and a 2012 graduate of Peddie, will serve as the school's Interim Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in an interim capacity this year. Rogers begins her new responsibilities immediately. She has done diversity work as an undergraduate at Middlebury, at the TEAK fellowship in New York and has been an active supporter of student affinity groups in her faculty role at Peddie. Rogers and Institutional Researcher Dr. Kari Hart participated in SEED training this summer in preparation for DEI work with faculty this fall.
Greg Groves joins the admission office as the Director of Multicultural Recruitment/Associate Director of Admission. Groves most recently served as the Dean of Equity and Social Justice at Christina Seix Academy in Trenton, where he was also the high school placement counselor. He is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a master’s degree from University of Pennsylvania.
Beginning in Winter 2020, Peddie conducted the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) in an effort to evaluate and understand more deeply the climate of inclusion on our campus. Students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni and trustees were invited to participate in a survey, and Peddie's AIM committee received the results in May of 2020. Following are the recommendations based on the results of the AIM survey:
1. Provide the DDEI with the necessary resources and support
2. Implement an institution-wide reporting and accountability system for bullying, teasing, and unjust, prejudiced, or discriminatory interactions
3. Increase the structural diversity of faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees to represent the diversity of the student body.
4. Demonstrate a sustained commitment to DEI by reserving time and space to have ongoing conversations and to provide community members with the common vocabulary/tools necessary to engage fully
5. Evaluate and improve campus-facilitated interactions, advising/teaching practices, and curriculum to ensure diverse representation, equity, and inclusion
6. Expand campus wellness efforts to include ongoing community programming focused on wellness and student concerns
7. Evaluate and modify our physical plant, programs, and school communications to provide an equitable, welcoming, and validating experience for non-binary and LGBTQIA+ community members
8. Revise the strategic plan to include a section specifically focused on DEI initiatives
Goals for 2020-2021 Academic Year
- Conduct a search for and name a Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). This faculty member will assist Peddie’s leadership, employees and board of trustees in enhancing our focus on issues that affect our marginalized students.
- Create a DEI Committee of school leaders, students and alumni. The Director of DEI will chair this committee.
- Identify and implement effective professional development for all Peddie employees.
- Continue to enhance the diversity of the curriculum.
- Provide more candid conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion and a more supportive environment.
- Hold a series of listening sessions between school leaders and students, parents, colleagues and alumni. These sessions will be a forum for sharing ideas and experiences.
Structural (Institutional) Goals:
Increase cultural competency and awareness
Develop a formal reporting system for biased and discriminatory behaviors
Create a DEI council of students and faculty members
Examine and reevaluate DEI metrics for essential aspects of the Peddie experience
Community (Interpersonal) Goals:
Embrace DEI work as a continuous effort to learn and grow as a community
Provide each other with the support to better understand issues of privilege, oppression, and marginalization
Navigate challenging conversations with empathy, respect, and awareness
"As educators, our faculty have the unbelievable opportunity to show students new texts and new ways of thinking; to guide and excite them in discussions; to deepen and develop their critical thinking and writing; and to sharpen and hone their intellectual rigor, curiosity and character. Urging students to reach for the highest quality of citizenship means an engagement with the frank realities and complexities of the world within our open campus and anti-racist community. The beauty of a great school is that it affects positive change in its society. We tell the truth and respect our students as individuals. We examine the problems of the world and inspire them to change it." Matthew Roach, English Department Chair
In December 2019, a Peddie cohort attended the annual Person of Color Conference (POCC) hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools. Three faculty members participated in the POCC, which provides a safe space for leadership, professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. Four selected student leaders participated in the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, a multiracial, multicultural gathering of student leaders from across the U.S. and abroad, which focuses on self-reflection, forming allies and building community.
Beginning in Winter 2020, Peddie conducted the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) in an effort to evaluate and understand more deeply the climate of inclusion on our campus. Students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni and trustees were invited to participate in a survey, and Peddie's AIM committee received the results in May of 2020. Using the survey results, the committee will develop measurable benchmarks for diversity, equity and inclusion goals relating to our curriculum, infrastructure, governance and services.
Peddie is committed to the creation of a deeply diverse community woven together with the common attributes of excitement, curiosity and character. In both our admission process and our hiring practices, we actively seek individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, ideas, histories and ambitions.
In and outside of the classroom, members of our community elevate and hear diverse perspectives. Our faculty strive to stay sharp, current and invested in issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in society, literature, history, math and the sciences and seek out opportunities for internal and external professional development with such issues in mind. Individual departments audit curriculum regularly with a focus on representation of diversity in all forms.
Affinity groups, made up of community members with a common identifier of heritage or orientation (e.g., race, gender, religion, etc.) are a critical part of Peddie student life, empowering students and families as they prepare to engage deeply with others on campus. Affinity groups affirm students and families who identify with each of these backgrounds within the larger context of our diverse community. Members of each group can speak to the experience of the group from the "I" perspective.
Peddie has plenty to be proud of in its history, but our motto defines our daily priority: to begin anew. At no time has this been more important than now. Because we are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary in order to ensure that we are an inclusive, safe and welcoming community for all of our students and adults, we are establishing a framework for work that will continue far beyond this fraught national moment.
Compiled by Peddie's English and History faculty, this list of articles, books, films and more is designed to broaden perspective and deepen engagement.
Regan Cook '19 shares how she helped research legal avenues for the removal of a Confederate statue on the UNC campus.
Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy requires more than talking about the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The Black Student Union presented a program which emphasized a call to action for each member of the Peddie community.
Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to the Ayer Memorial Chapel in 1957.