About Us

Equity and Inclusion

Our Vibrant Community

Brimmer’s diversity strengthens our welcoming and inclusive community. Throughout each academic year, we host affinity group meetings for Middle and Upper School students of color and families of color and bring in speakers and hold workshops for our students and faculty on a range of topics addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion. We also hold numerous events that celebrate cultural traditions and share about our differences and our common humanity. These programs—along with our school culture and set of values—enhance our collective experience of community, educate our students about social justice and equity, and empower our students to be responsible citizens and empathetic, ethical leaders.

An increasingly loud and necessary call to action in our country has required us to address and disrupt practices that perpetuate bias and institutional anti-Black racism. In order to honor the diversity within our community, we will take a number of action steps during the 2020-2021 school year to rebuild our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices to ensure that they are embedded completely in each fiber that holds our school together. Our Call to Action, along with additional communication from the School addressing the acts of racism and violence that have taken place throughout our country over the past months, can be found below. We will keep this page active as we restructure our efforts and provide content that reflects our ongoing work, our mission, and our duty to disrupt inequities.

Jessica Christian, Director of Equity and Inclusion

As a school, we must work hard to create an equitable environment for all and actively teach and practice anti-bias and anti-racism at every level.

Meet our Director

Director of Equity and Inclusion Jessica Christian leads Brimmer's efforts to ensure that our community honors its diversity and fosters equity, mutual respect, appreciation, and the ability to embrace difference. She organizes events, programs, professional development, and meetings for students, faculty, and families, and facilitates our affinity groups. Ms. Christian is available to meet with members of the Brimmer community concerning matters of equity and inclusion that might need individual attention.

Meet our Consultant

Please welcome Lawrence Alexander to Brimmer for the 2020-2021 academic year. Mr. Alexander will be consulting with us as we develop more equitable, anti-biased practices within our community. He will work closely with Jessica Christian to identify, address, and dismantle systems at Brimmer that have perpetuated institutional bias and anti-black racism. Please continue to visit this page for updates on our commitment to this critical work.

Affinity Groups and Training

List of 5 items.

  • Affinity Groups & Student Diversity Clubs

    Students have the option to participate in clubs and affinity groups including:

    • African American/Latino/Multi-racial Affinity Group
    • International Students from China Affinity Group
    • GSA (Gender and Sexuality for All)
    • Student Diversity Leadership Club
    • Middle School Diversity Lunch Group
    • Grade 5 Diversity Lunch Bunch
    Topics discussed in our groups may include: celebrations of identity, history lessons, politics, current events, and microaggressions. The make-up and existence of our groups may change year-to-year as we respond to the needs of our community.
  • Student Conferences

    Brimmer students help to develop internal diversity programming at the Lower, Middle, and Upper School levels. Off campus, students attend conferences including:

    • NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)
    • AISNE Middle School Diversity Conference
    • AISNE Middle School Student of Color Conference
    • AISNE High School Student of Color Conference
    These conferences address topics of race but also cover in depth issues surrounding socio-economic differences, gender identity, and sexual orientation, among other things.
  • Community Meetings for Diversity

    All members of community—staff, families, and students gather each quarter for dinner and a meeting that focuses on the celebration of culture, announcing upcoming events at the School, setting goals for diversity efforts, and exchanging information.
  • Professional Development & Faculty Conferences

    Faculty members attend conferences and workshops through organizations such as AISNE and NAIS that focus on topics including white privilege, representation of diversity in the classroom, and teaching students of color. Faculty members also attend the NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) each year.
  • Faculty & Staff Training

    This includes workshops and professional development training from organizations such as the National Association of Independent School (NAIS); the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE); Bay Area People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS); the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); and Visions. The Diversity Director has bi-monthly internal meetings with all the members of the Diversity Council.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force

Brimmer has created an ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) Task Force for the 2020-2021 school year that includes the Director of Equity and Inclusion as well as faculty, staff, and additional members of the Administrative Team, to revamp and restructure DEI committees at the divisional levels and to ensure that equity, inclusion, and anti-racism work is embedded in each classroom and each part of Brimmer’s programming.

List of 11 members.

  • Photo of Jessica Christian

    Jessica Christian 

    Director of Equity and Inclusion, Associate Director of MS/US Admissions
  • Photo of Joshua Neudel

    Joshua Neudel 

    Head of Upper School
  • Photo of Carl Vallely

    Carl Vallely 

    Head of Middle School, Co-Director of Faculty Recruitment and Mentoring
  • Photo of Emily Miller

    Emily Miller 

    Head of Lower School
  • Photo of Emily Luckett

    Emily Luckett 

    Upper School Counselor
  • Photo of Kelly Neely

    Kelly Neely 

    Director of Global Studies, Humanities Dept. Co-Chair, History and Global Studies Teacher
  • Photo of Nicole DeCesare

    Nicole DeCesare 

    Associate Director of Marketing & Communications
  • Photo of Rachel Heyman

    Rachel Heyman 

    Lower School Drama Teacher
  • Photo of Tom Nelson

    Tom Nelson 

    Assistant Athletic Director, Lower School PE, Mathematics Teacher
  • Photo of Ina Patel

    Ina Patel 

    Director of Teaching & Learning for Grades 2-5, L.S. Science Coordinator
  • Photo of Janeata Robinson

    Janeata Robinson  

    Registrar, Lower School Diversity

Our Policies

As an inclusive community, Brimmer welcomes students who will increase the diversity of our school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or any other characteristic protected from discrimination under state or federal law, in the administration of our educational policies, admissions practices, financial aid decisions, and athletic and other school-administered programs.