Diversity, Equity & Inclusion News

DEI at Shipley: Cultivating Belonging

Strategic Plan Update - Goal #1: Educational Excellence

How is Shipley strengthening students’ ability to engage and lead in an increasingly complex and interconnected world?

The five strategies supporting educational excellence are aimed at equipping students with the skills they will need to thrive and succeed in an increasingly global world, where empathy, critical thinking, and social competencies are essential. In this feature from the Summer/Fall 2023 issue of the Shipley Magazine, we explore how we are addressing these goals through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts.

Cultivating Belonging

Goals Addressed: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5

“Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. We attain unity only through variety. Differences must be integrated, not annihilated, not absorbed.”
~ Mary Parker Follett

One of Shipley’s accomplishments in the last seven years is the creation of the DEI Strategic Plan, stemming directly from Goal 1.4 of Vision 20/26 to “Cultivate a diverse and inclusive community.” Investments have been made in building an Office of DEI to steer these efforts, including three coordinator positions—one in each division, as well as one for the adults in the community. A standing DEI committee was added to the Board of Trustees as well.

Celebrating Joy & Diversity
Diversity is celebrated in divisional assemblies, including a parade for Hispanic Heritage Month in Lower School and a visit from the University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Rev. Charles Howard in Upper School, among others. An All School Assembly with the theme of “Black Joy” spotlighted contributions of Black Americans in the visual arts, literature, athletics, and music.

Professional & Leadership Development
The DEI department led Professional Development sessions for teachers, administrators, and operational colleagues on belonging, microaggressions, gender inclusivity, and Shipley’s Bias Awareness Reporting system. In the spring, the Board of Trustees participated in a workshop led by Dr. Gene Batiste and focused on Board governance through a DEI lens.

Affinity Spaces
Affinity groups create opportunities for people who share a common identity to build strength and pride. This year, Shipley’s affinity spaces were expanded to include Lower School students. Student groups include Jewish, Black/African, and Asian American Pacific Islander heritages, as well as LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies. Adults in the community have formed Colleagues of Color and LGBTQIA+ Colleague affinity spaces. More groups will continue to be created based on community interest.


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion News

The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.