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.
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.
Everyday Activism: Moving from Talk to Walk
On January 19, 2021, Mr. Alexander gave the keynote address for our 16th Annual Bissell Grogan Symposium, which has been reimagined as a Virtual Speaker Series focusing on our school-year theme, Building an Equitable Community. In his presentation, entitled Everyday Activism: Moving from Talk to Walk, Mr. Alexander spoke to Middle & Upper School faculty and students in grades 7-12 with the intention of helping our communities, and particularly our students, lead authentic systemic change. He addressed the protests and demonstrations, focusing on how we can sustain the change for which we have marched. You can view a recording of Mr. Alexander's presentation here.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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.
DEI Task Force Mission Statement The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Task Force seeks to identify, examine, and deconstruct identity-based prejudice, discrimination, and explicit and implicit biasin both the culture and in the educational and institutional practices within the Brimmer and May community.These exist as a result of decades-old institutional bias and racism in independent schools. We endeavor to create a learning environment and school culture that deeply honors each individual experience on our campus and empowers every member with the knowledge and abilities to promote a more just and equitable community.
In year one, we will focus our efforts on: completing a thorough audit of our PK-12 curriculum with a focus on anti-Black racism; building common understanding, language, and culture around systemicanti-Black racism, white supremacy, and racial identity development amongst the faculty and staff;establishing a long-term plan for future task force actions that address implicit bias; addressingimmediate events and issues as they arise.
With each year, goals and action steps will work toward making Brimmer an institution that stands for and practices anti-racismand anti-bias at every level.
List of 12 members.
Director of Equity and Inclusion, Associate Director of MS/US Admissions
Head of Upper School
Head of Middle School, Co-Director of Faculty Recruitment and Mentoring
Head of Lower School
Upper School Counselor
Director of Global Studies, Humanities Dept. Co-Chair, History and Global Studies Teacher
Associate Director of Marketing & Communications
Rachel Wolf Heyman
LS Drama Teacher, LS Diversity Facilitator
Assistant Athletic Director, Lower School PE, Mathematics Teacher
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.