Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
At Berkeley Carroll, we believe the robust and dynamic learning community described in our school mission requires being an equitable and inclusive school that reflects a vast array of identities, perspectives, experiences, life stories, and realities. Our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work supports our goal of providing opportunities for every community member to have what they need to be successful in an environment where they feel that they can be their authentic selves, as we believe these are essential components of socio-emotional well being and academic success.
In order to be more actively anti-racist and to affirm the experiences of those who are marginalized in our community and in our society, we have committed to initiatives across all areas of the school and with all constituencies. We work to disrupt racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of bias and discrimination in our own community and respond effectively when incidents of bias arise. In all areas, we strive for constant growth and improvement.
In a 2020 address to students regarding the history and impact of race and racism in the United States, Head of School Dr. Lisa Yvette Waller said: “We are navigating a really important historical moment in the face of unprecedented challenges. Berkeley Carroll sits squarely in this moment and is charged to do more, and do better, combating racism and other forms of oppression wherever we find them."
Diversity Mission Statement
We endeavor to create an inclusive and equitable learning community that honors our shared humanity and the dignity of all.
We affirm our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work and our deeply held belief that our school should reflect a broad array of identities, perspectives, and lived experiences.
We teach, learn, and implement anti-bias and anti-racist practices and tackle the challenges that arise as we engage with each other in connection to this work in community.
We believe that these essential elements and practices make for a robust and dynamic institution in which everyone has a sense of belonging and where students can develop into respectful, responsible and impactful global citizens.
- DEI in Admissions
- DEI in the Lower School
- DEI in the Middle School
- DEI in the Upper School
- DEI in Hiring
DEI in Admissions
Berkeley Carroll's student body is representative of a wide range of backgrounds. In addition to community outreach by the Admissions Office, the school works with organizations such as Prep for Prep, The Oliver Program, The TEAK Fellowship, Boys’ Club NYC, and The Breakthrough Collaborative to enroll students who will further add to our economically and racially diverse community.
DEI in the Lower School
To support our belief that students should never feel that they need to leave any part of themselves behind when stepping through the door and becoming part of the community, in Lower School we follow the Responsive Classroom approach to classroom management and teaching. This approach is an important aspect of our equity work. It promotes the idea that the social emotional curriculum is as important as the academic and creates a warm, nurturing environment where expectations are consistent and clear. Students learn to be kind, honest, and respectful towards one another. They learn to assert themselves appropriately in academic and social situations, to be responsible, and to develop empathy and self-control. Responsive Classroom creates the conditions for equity by establishing a classroom and school community where all students feel a sense of belonging and significance.
The Lower School has recently adopted the RULER program, designed by Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER is an approach to social emotional learning that teaches emotional intelligence to people of all ages in a school community, with the goal of creating a healthier, more equitable, innovative, and compassionate society. It also helps schools develop a shared language around emotions and an understanding of their impact on both individuals and the overall school climate.
Beginning in PreK, students learn about what it means to be a member of a community with a diverse range of perspectives. The Lower School Anti-Bias Curriculum includes our Anti-Racist Curriculum and our Health and Human Sexuality Curriculum. We use a Student Stories curriculum to help teach social skills, empathy, conflict resolution, and problem solving skills through an anti-bias lens. Students learn to advocate for themselves and others by hearing and discussing relatable scenarios. They are exposed to a variety of perspectives and experiences representing different aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Racial and ethnic identity, gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, family structure and other aspects of identity that highlight the richness of human diversity are honored as we affirm children and encourage them to understand themselves, each other, and the world around them.
The Lower School anti-racist curriculum was developed to help students explore these ideas with the lens of equity, social justice and action. Its goal is to provide children with opportunities to develop a positive racial self-identity and to recognize and affirm the identities of others. The spiraling nature of the curriculum moves outward in focus as children mature and are capable of more sophisticated understanding. We begin with the self/family, move on to school/community, and eventually focus on society at large. Through read-alouds and discussions on topics including skin color and hair, and our similarities and differences, even the youngest children come to understand that all people have a racial identity, decentering whiteness as the standard or “norm”.
Through their years in Lower School, students learn about race and racism, bias (explicit and implicit), and white privilege and learn to distinguish between race, ethnicity, and nationality through read-alouds, lessons, family shares, and exploration of stereotypes and media representations. They develop an understanding of microaggressions and think about issues surrounding impact versus intent.
Our Health and Human Sexuality curriculum, which also begins in PreK, helps students develop an age-appropriate understanding of and respect for gender, family structure and topics related to sexuality. Through their work in science classes and in the classroom, children gain an understanding of differences and similarities in the physical characteristics of bodies and how and why bodies function as they do and change as they get older. Students learn scientifically accurate vocabulary for anatomy as they learn about body systems. Children are given opportunities to explore their own personal identity and come to recognize and respect the identity of other individuals and families.
In addition to specific anti-bias lessons, topics relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion are interwoven throughout other areas of our curriculum, particularly social studies and language arts. For example, students in PreK do an extensive study of families and various family structures. Students in third grade learn about the history and contemporary lives of the Native American groups who have lived in and around New York City. Fourth graders learn about various changemakers and activists as they study the history of enslavement, the great migration of African Americans from the south to the industrial north, and both past and present day immigration. Literature on all grade levels provides opportunities for children to reflect on a variety of issues--from the affirming relationship between a child and grandmother in Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love to the sweeping saga of an African American family in Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul--and to develop empathy and deeper understanding.
Lower School students have the opportunity to participate in several affinity spaces. These Spaces allow individuals to come together around a shared aspect of identity in community and are facilitated by educators with that shared identity. We currently offer Berkeley Carroll Kids of Color (BCKOC) for first and second graders, BCKOC for third and fourth graders, and Rainbow Club for third and fourth grade students who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, as part of an LGBTQ+ family, and allies to LGBTQ+ communities.
Our program, with its focus on anti-bias curriculum and social emotional wellness, supports our aspiration to cultivate a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. The goal is to help students feel a sense of belonging and build the capacity to contribute to a positive school culture and to the greater society.
DEI in the Middle School
The Middle School integrates the theme of diversity and inclusion throughout all courses -- from the hard sciences to humanities, Spanish and the arts -- to help students prepare for citizenship in a global, multicultural society.
Faculty treat each student as an individual, respecting each for who they are. They encourage students to develop a clear sense of identity, justice, and appreciation for cultures different than their own, as well as an understanding of how they might create change in the world.
In Humanities, a required 4-year Middle School course, students examine issues of race, identity, and social justice, as well as examining how socio-economic class, gender and sexuality affect the lives of individuals.
History projects and topics are designed to explore underlying power structures and ways in which individuals and groups have managed to overcome obstacles to create social justice. 7th graders focus on American history and the institution of slavery with its long-lasting legacy. They also study the role of the justice system in maintaining and depriving citizens of essential rights. In 8th grade, the Wax Museum project asks students to choose a person who has had a positive impact on the world, research that person, then embody him or her at a public presentation.
Providing young people with ways forward and examples of successful efforts at making a difference in the world is important to us. We hope to support a justified sense of optimism and hope in all our students.
Middle School Affinity Groups and Alliances
Middle School People of Color (MSPOC)
MSPOC is open to all middle school students who identify as people of color. It is a space for us to connect with each other, create a sense of unity, and discuss topics relevant to our experiences as POC inside and outside BC. If you identify as a person of color, we encourage you to join us. MSPOC is facilitated by several of the race-based affinity group leaders and other adults who identify as POC.
Middle School Multiracial Affinity Group
To be multiracial means you have mixed ancestry of two or more races. We invite all students who identify as multiracial to join our brave space as we build a cohort of support, kindness, and understanding.
Girls to Women Affinity Group
The Girls to Women (G2W) Affinity Group is a space where students that identify as girls have the opportunity to discuss different topics and how they relate to being female identified. It is a space of kindness, support, understanding advocacy and empowerment.
LGBTQ+ Affinity Group
The LGBTQ+ Affinity Group is a space where LGBTQ+ identified people have the opportunity to discuss different topics and how they relate specifically to the LGBTQ+ community. It is a space of kindness, understanding advocacy and empowerment.
Black Student Affinity Group
The Black Student Affinity Group is a space for students who identify as Black to come together to celebrate the various ethnic and cultural identities of people who identify as African, African American, Afro Caribbean, Afro Latinx, and all others included in the African diaspora. We will share stories and discuss issues impacting us as Black people.
Learning Differences Affinity Group
The learning differences affinity space is a place for students with a diagnosed learning difference to connect. Any student who has a learning plan is welcome to join a relaxed, low-key, conversational space. We can talk about the challenges and joys of having a learning difference and what it means for you. However, you are not required to share the specifics of your learning difference.
First Generation Affinity Group
If one or both of your parents, or you, is the first to be born in the United States, please join us in our First Generation Affinity Group to connect with each other, share stories, and talk about the importance of food, and what it’s like to be multicultural.
Arab, Middle Eastern, and Western Asian Affinity Group
If you identify as someone from the cultures of North Africa, the Middle East, or Western Asia, please join us! We will come together to share our experience of having multicultural identities, what our cultures have in common, the foods that are important to our families, and what it is like to be a member of these communities.
Asian/Asian American Affinity Group
If you identify as Asian, Asian American, and/or you or your family is from an East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian country, please join us! We can share our experiences, find unity and solidarity, and discuss relevant topics. This will be a kind and welcoming environment where we can support each other.
Latinx Affinity Group
If you identify as Latina, Latino or Latinx and/or you or your family is from a Spanish speaking country, we invite you to join us! We will spend our time together sharing our experiences and discussing topics related to our Latinx identity. Our affinity group is a safe space where we can get to know one another and celebrate our shared cultural heritage and roots.
MS JADA (Joint Alliance for Diversity Awareness)
The mission for MS JADA states the following:
MS JADA provides a brave space for all members of our community who respect, honor and celebrate the wide range of differences in ourselves. Our purpose is to discuss important, controversial, tough, and uncomfortable issues that affect all individuals who identify with any race, culture, socioeconomic class, gender spectrum, sexual orientation, religion, political leanings, and the like. Our goal is to strive to help raise awareness for diversity and equity in our school’s community. For a community to thrive, it must be aware of the experience of each and every individual in it.
DEI in the Upper School
Office of Equity and Inclusion in Upper School
The Office of Equity and Inclusion supports Berkeley Carroll in its endeavors to cultivate and support an equitable, inclusive learning community that represents a diversity of perspectives and in which everyone has a true sense of belonging. We believe that the robust and dynamic learning community described in our school mission requires that our school reflect a broad array of identities, perspectives, and lived experiences. Our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work forwards the goal of providing opportunities for all community members to have what they need to be successful in an environment where they feel that they can be their authentic selves. We believe these are essential components of socio-emotional well being and academic success.
In order to be more actively anti-bias and anti-racist and to affirm the experiences of those who are marginalized in our community and in our society, we have committed to initiatives across all areas of the school and with all constituencies. We work to disrupt racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of bias and discrimination in our community and we strive to respond effectively when incidents of bias arise. In all areas, we aim for constant growth and improvement.
In the Upper School, curricular revision has continued to diversify our elective offerings as well as re-envision core courses such as Modern World History, Myths and Legends, and American Studies. Our co-curricular programming includes BC Talks, The School Culture and Equity Council advising lessons, Community Discussion and Affinity Spaces. Both our curriculum and co-curricular programming encourage ongoing, authentic conversations about identity, belonging, and school culture in a wide variety of spaces.
BC Talks provides the opportunity for students and faculty to learn and to practice the skills required to discuss past and current events and matters of social justice. Our episodes of BC Talks allow for the time and space to react and respond to events in the world and to engage in significant conversation within the Berkeley Carroll community. We are then able to discuss and explore perspectives different from our own, to respectfully disagree, to attempt to persuade, to change our minds, and to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of perspectives and experiences within the BC community.
The School Culture and Equity Council (SCEC), a group of students and faculty members, promotes equity for all members of the Berkeley Carroll Upper School community. Their goal is to nurture and promote a healthy student culture of inclusive excellence by constructing a sustainable environment where all are respected and valued. SCEC works towards this goal by creating opportunities for open dialogue and planning activities that focus on understanding, empathy, and growth. Should there be instances of racism, bias, discrimination, bullying, or harassment in our community, the School Culture and Equity Council may be called to review and respond. They prioritize accountability and work towards restorative approaches to hold one another in community.
Upper School Affinity Spaces and Alliances
Upper School students have the opportunity to participate in several affinity spaces. These Spaces allow individuals to come together around a shared aspect of identity in community and are advised by educators with that shared identity. We currently offer the following spaces:
The Asian American Alliance - AAA
Black Human Girl - BHG
Black Student Union - BSU
Girls to Women - G2W
Jewish Culture Club - JCC
Joint Alliance for Diversity Awareness - JADA
Multiracial Affinity Group
Neurodiverse and Mental Health
People of Color - POC
Spectrum - LGBTQIA+
Young Men of Color - YMoC
DEI in Hiring
The height of our hiring season is January through mid-April.
Our goal is always to hire talented educators who will serve the school’s mission and help shape the direction of the Berkeley Carroll community for years to come. We seek candidates who will add to the diversity of perspectives represented in our community. We encourage applications from those of historically underrepresented and marginalized identities within independent schools such as People of Color and members of the LGBTQ+ community as we strive for our population of educators to reflect the identities represented in our student population.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work is essential and integrally connected to Berkeley Carroll’s ability to execute our mission and educate and support students, families, and colleagues. Therefore, the hiring process for every candidate — teachers, senior administrators, and staff members — is approached through a DEI lens.
All faculty and staff must have a clear commitment to and understanding of the school’s DEI work and possess demonstrated skills in this area. These are some of the questions and considerations that frame our recruitment and interview process; they are designed to ensure we are creating opportunities for educators who will contribute to building and maintaining an equitable and inclusive community.
- Does the hiring committee for each position represent a diversity of perspectives?
- Does each job description clearly state that every candidate is expected to have a commitment to engaging in DEI work, in addition to the required expertise and core skills for the position?
- Are candidates of color and members of other underrepresented communities applying for our positions and advancing in our searches?
- Do our standardized DEI interview questions reflect what we think is important? Will they help us ascertain each candidate’s understanding, experience, and fluency with DEI work?
- How do we authentically convey our progress and what we still need to achieve regarding our DEI goals?
Our DEI work happens on a number of fronts, including board of trustees’ decision-making, ongoing faculty professional development, curriculum and program review, anti-bias and anti-racist training, and the hiring process. We recognize this work is a long, steady journey that requires ongoing and consistent commitment.
Statement of Non-Discrimination in Employment
The Berkeley Carroll School ("Berkeley Carroll") is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Berkeley Carroll does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, as defined by law, or on the basis of age, as defined by law, disability or genetic information.
Berkeley Carroll provides health insurance for the domestic partners of its faculty as well as maternity and paternity leave for birth or adoption of a child