Diversity And Inclusion At Salisbury School
Salisbury School works to honor the right of every community member, of any age and every identity, to be seen, understood and valued. This sense of true community comes through educational experiences that open dialogue, shape understanding and build mutual respect.
statement of diversity and inclusion
Seeing, understanding and valuing all people requires intention, action and reflection, and is not without stumbles and struggles. Our vision for diversity and inclusion work at Salisbury acknowledges the increasing complexity of our world, the messages that shape our students and the conviction that it is impossible to hate someone whose story you know.
Brotherhood – Here and Beyond
Brotherhood is at the core of our community and is what bonds us together. While the “brotherhood” refers to those who share the Salisbury experience, by explicitly and implicitly teaching our core values of empathy, humility and respect, Salisbury students come to learn that, in fact, everyone is their brother. Once we understand this vital reality, we are driven to make a positive impact on the communities in which we live – both on the Hilltop and beyond.
Our twice-weekly Chapel services provide an opportunity for students, faculty and members to share their story in community. It is time set a part to listen, learn and reflect, and is considered by many to be the most sacred time of the week. Focusing on the spiritual development, this space provides the opportunity to recognize and be in relationship with the various manifestations of the image in which we are all created. This common ground enriches the “brotherhood” by providing relational experiences and tools to honor the voice and identity of the “Other.” Though rooted in the Episcopal tradition, we have Chapel speakers throughout the year from faith communities in our area to share more about Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism and more.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
This annual day of programming uses Dr. King’s work and legacy as a springboard to explore and analyze current events. In 2018, we unpacked the racist events in Charlottesville, VA and compared them to events during the Civil Rights Era. We then considered how Dr. King would have counseled us to respond, using his words and actions as teachers. Our 2019 program focused on the Power of Speech, in which we examined the biases we all have as individuals that can cause hurtful speech. We explored intent vs. impact, and how we can use speech to stand up to injustice. As King said, “we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
Faculty Book Club
Spring 2019 Faculty Book Club: White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, prompting readers to look hard in the mirror in our roles as teachers and as citizens.
Our faculty book club dug into I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown in fall 2018, meeting weekly to discuss, connect and explore together.
Our spring 2018 faculty book club read Waking Up White by Debby Irving. Her personal account of racial awakening was so moving that it became our all-faculty summer read.
How and Where
the Work Happens
Multicultural Curriculum: Many teachers infuse diverse stories and perspectives into their year-long or trimester-long curriculum. Here are just a few places where this happens:
Sixth form elective courses include: Literature of the Black Experience; Native American Literature; The Poetry of Hip Hop
Fifth form English texts include: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates, Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Fourth form English texts include: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
Third form English texts include: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Sixth form electives include: Modern Chinese History; Issues in Contemporary China; History of the Modern Middle East; Civil Rights; Black History in Rural Connecticut
Philosophy and Religion Department
Electives include: Radical Inclusion: Social Justice Ethics and the Gospel of Luke; Esse Quam Videri: To Be Rather Than to Seem to Be; The Outsider: Genesis and Beyond; Ecology and Ethics
Faculty and students (and many parents!) read the vivid and powerful memoir The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates over the summer. Students explored the text in Advisory in the fall, and heard Moore speak as part of our Billingsley Lecture Series in December.