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Anti-Racism & Equity Initiatives

A Message from School Leadership

Dear CH-CH community,

We thank the CH-CH students, alumni, and teachers that have opened our eyes to the systemic racism that is inherent in their experience and in the experience of students around the country. We again apologize for this reality. Your determined and inspiring actions have held a mirror up to the School and sparked many difficult and much-needed conversations about our reflections. Through affinity groups, personal meetings with school leadership, and conversations on social media, we have been listening and affirming accounts of systemic racism and microaggressions against black students and students of color.

But listening alone is not enough.

Now is time for us to take all that you have shared and present our plan of action, the CH-CH Strategic Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan for 2020-2021, located below this message.

This plan was created in collaboration with the School’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Nikki Turpin, and our Diversity Committee; it was informed by many conversations with students, faculty and staff, as well. The plan outlines both the strategy and some of the concrete steps we will be taking in nearly all areas of school life to uncover and remove instances of bias and build a system based on equality for our students of color. Many of these steps have already begun.

As the leadership for CH-CH, we are committing our Board of Trustees and School Administration to this crucial work, and we are building it into the fabric of who we are as a school moving forward.  This will be central to the School’s emerging five-year Strategic Plan that presents a timeline for the growth of CH-CH in all areas of school life. The new Strategic Plan will soon be formally approved by the Board of Trustees, and we expect tactical elements of the plan to grow over the years. The progress needed will require continued effort and accountability on our part. We look forward to continuing to identify opportunities for Board engagement with the broader community, including students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff.

This process will also require new levels of transparency in our work and decision-making. This is one area that we, as school leadership, feel strongly about. We want to make sure that you know where we stand, what we have done, and what still needs to be accomplished. Transparency is crucial in our community taking this journey together, and we look forward to providing exactly that.

We pride ourselves at CH-CH for being an empathic and welcoming community that allows our students to thrive, and this is only achievable when we have a system that works for each of our students. We are ready for the hard work ahead, and thank you again for the continued fight for social justice.

Lance Conrad, Ed.D.
Head of School
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School

Charlotte Merrell
Board Chair
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School

Introducing Nikki Turpin, CH-CH's Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Upcoming Virtual DEI Events to Attend

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CH-CH Strategic Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan for 2020-2021

As stated in our mission statement, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall is a school that embraces differences in learning style and culture in a richly diverse and supportive community. To further support our mission, CH-CH recognizes that we must affirm this not only through our words but also our actions. Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall affirms our identity as an anti-racist school and commits to becoming a school that is justice-seeking and -minded in our actions. While we have begun to do this work in multiple areas, we know that our efforts need to be consistent and transparent. Our vision is for CH-CH to be a school that embraces the dreams of all of our students; that teaches all community members to identify and dismantle systemic oppression; that allows all of us to be our authentic selves; and where we, as a school community, unequivocally state that we will be an abolitionist institute of learning.

These strategic initiatives were composed after multiple conversations with CH-CH staff, faculty, and students, including the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.  It is presented on behalf of the senior administrative team, including the Head of School, and is intended to convey a singular voice from the School to our community.

Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall will continue to engage in this work through workshops, affinity groups, ongoing community conversations, assemblies, and curriculum work. We will work toward implementing the following initiatives, which focus primarily on curriculum, wellness, and transparency.

Training, Education, and Anti-Racist Action Planning

Throughout the year, the entire CH-CH community will take part in educational experiences designed to build anti-racism into the culture of the School.

  • Establishing comprehensive anti-racism strategies and procedures, including faculty and staff training, to help prevent and respond to issues of racism and discrimination in the community.
  • Requiring CH-CH employees to set annual equity-focused professional goals and review them yearly with their supervisors and school administration.
  • Building time during professional development for awareness, education, and introspection in an environment of grace and humility as a critical step in dismantling systemic inequities within our community.
  • Holding monthly Diversity and Wellness Summits, and placing a greater emphasis on these topics in our curriculum and community daily life, as a whole.
  • Committing the Board of Trustees to ongoing training in justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism work.

An Equitable and Accountable Discipline Process

The time has come for CH-CH to uncover, acknowledge, and reduce racial disparities within its discipline process by rebuilding a system with increased transparency and a focus on restorative justice.

  • Constructing an anonymous incident report form for students to feel more comfortable about informing the School administration of discriminatory incidents. This will help to create a safe method for students to process and respond to experiences of racism and inequity in our programs and community.
  • Collecting data on past honor committees and results to uncover instances of bias. We will use this data to inform future work with these committees and to better determine how and where we might implement policies and actions to mitigate future issues. This information will also be used to assist in professional development and professional goals.
  • Rewriting clear Community Handbook guidelines that will allow grace and autonomy, but also a clear understanding of what the School’s response should be when a student’s actions fall outside the expectations of our community.
  • Training a small group of staff and students on Restorative Justice principles and practices with an eye to increasing community involvement, in the coming years. 

Curriculum and Access

As we listen to our students and alumni, the need is clear to build more learning opportunities and discussions on race and social justice into the curriculum. 

  • Identifying and deconstructing areas in our school culture, curriculum, programming, and communications that have contributed to systemic racism within our organization.
  • Creating and maintaining an Open Door policy for students to connect with the Administration.  This shall be created through Office Hours with the Head of School and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Adding celebrations that offer windows and mirrors to our community. These celebrations will not only honor those they represent but will allow us to educate on and expand cultural awareness. We have received feedback from students and faculty on expanding and new celebrations, including Heritage month, Pride Month, and Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and we welcome further community input on how to include these and other events into this school year. 

Health, Wellness, and Connections

We recognize the impact that structural racism has on the well-being of our students, and we are committed to supporting them as they work toward dismantling it.

  • Supporting our residential life program by providing more opportunities to connect as a community and learn how to advocate for care.
  • Creating multiple programs around healthy self-care and mental wellness and increasing access to community supports.
  • Identifying and securing more opportunities for alumni and current students to connect and engage with each other through mentoring opportunities and social events.
  • Developing opportunities for alumni to engage in anti-racism conversations and work.

Communication and Accountability

This will be a journey that we will all take together, and clear communication and accountability are key. We will continue to update the community on our progress. 

  • Creating a racial equity communications strategy that includes community-wide messages to respond to racial and social inequities.
  • Growing the number of informational materials presented in families' native languages.
  • Reporting to the community each trimester to outline the progress we have made in these initiatives, as well as the work that is to come.

Our intention is that these initiatives will directly impact the Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall community positively and allow us to continue to support each other; we know that there is still more work to be done. While the circumstances of this year present unique challenges, we will continue to update you on our progress and new initiatives that we set forth. We particularly look forward to continued input from the student body and including newly identified action items from the students.
Located 10 miles from Boston, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall is a coeducational college preparatory school that teaches the way students learn. The School welcomes students with diverse learning styles and helps them to develop self-confidence and achieve academic success through personalized, integrated learning. Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall offers 180 boarding and day students a richly diverse cultural and academic environment and opportunities to engage in the arts, athletics and community service.