Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity is about representation -- ensuring that people across a wide spectrum of worldviews, ability, race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religious beliefs, and political affiliation --  are part of a community. Research has shown that a diversity of viewpoints and life experiences leads to innovation and creativity. Connecting the dots from a passive place of having diversity to leveraging diversity for innovation and creativity is: equity.  This means ensuring fairness in access to information and resources for all, which entails acknowledging that different students have different needs to achieve success and putting those tools in place. Inclusion requires intentional practice on everyone’s part. Inclusion entails leveraging diversity in order to make it so that all students, staffulty, and families experience King as a safe, welcoming community to which they belong.  It means that it is this type of culture that will ensure that King continues to be at the cutting-edge of delivering innovative education for the long-term.

Click here to see the latest updates on our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan. 

King School Diversity Policy Statement

Diversity is a core value at King. At King, we are enriched through our appreciation of diversity’s many faces including gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, talent, or learning style. By honoring cultural differences and intellectual diversity, we create a vibrant learning community where each person is valued.

King values a community in which each individual strives for wisdom and goodness found in a deep understanding of equity, fairness, and cultural inclusion. Rooted in respect and personal responsibility, the School’s culture offers a supportive and reflective environment that embraces diversity as central to educational excellence. We honor these values as essential to preparing our students for lives of leadership and achievement in our global society.

At King, we support our commitment with action. We work to build a community that is truly diverse. Proactively and consistently, we challenge stereotypes, create awareness, and develop educational programs that are informed by, and responsive to, our values. We model these values in the School’s activities and affairs. We arm our students with an understanding and appreciation for diversity that prepares them to be thoughtful and successful citizens of the world.

 

PreK-Grade 12 Curriculum

Rooted in respect and personal responsibility, the King culture offers a supportive and reflective environment that embraces diversity as a central component to educational excellence. The program promotes understanding, dialogue, empowerment, and opportunities among the King community.

The Diversity Program is integrated across the PreK-Grade 12 curriculum. Age-appropriate texts are carefully selected from different global, cultural, religious, gender, and socioeconomic perspectives to engender awareness and class conversations.

To build upon the curriculum, there are additional initiatives such as:

  • Across multiple-divisions, we celebrate with our Global Fair. 
  • In Lower School, we build upon the theme of identity. Through developmentally appropriate classroom activities, students share “Who Am I?” and “What makes me unique?”
  • In Middle School, conversations are held to engage in reflections on gender norms and stereotypes, personal identity, micro-aggressions and micro-affirmations. King students in Grades 7 and 8 join students from other independent schools at a yearly diversity conference sponsored through the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools.
  • In Upper School, students are offered the opportunity to engage in discussions about issues of social identity and multiculturalism. Through these experiences, students build community, learn core concepts, and engage in honest dialogue. A group of US students and faculty attend the yearly National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), a part of the yearly People of Color in Independent Schools Conference (PoCC). Faculty also attends the annual White Privilege Conference.

 

Annual Conferences:

  • National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), a part of the yearly People of Color in Independent Schools Conference (PoCC)
  • National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) - Connecticut Regional Event
  • Young Women of Color Conference
  • Young Men of Color Conference
  • Saturday Summit on Social Justice

PA KInD Committee

The mission of the Parents' Association's King Inclusion and Diversity Committee (KInD) is to help create a safe, welcoming space for King parents and our entire school community, through inclusion, while, at the same time, accepting and embracing our diversity. The goal of this committee is to serve as a liaison with the PA as a resource for parents, particularly those new to King. The KInD committee works to engage the School on matters of difference, works together to tackle barriers, and embraces opportunities to enhance diversity. The committee brings events to the King community, including: movie screenings, book readings and celebrations of the full spectrum of issues of difference, race and class, learning differences, non-traditional families, and gender equality. The KInD committee looks to become agents of change in many ways on issues of social justice and equality. King is a place for all parents. The Committee also works closely with the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to help foster a culture in which King is a welcoming, safe space for our entire school community through various events throughout the year.

 

Diversity in Action

King School Announces New Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

King School is delighted to welcome Dr. Clyde Beverly III as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) starting on July 1, 2021.

Beverly shared his enthusiasm by stating, "I'm excited to join the King community and continue the work started by Dr. Jean-Baptiste. I'm looking forward to working with Carol Maoz, Interim Head of School, the Board of Trustees, the leadership team, and the DEI team to continue to create an environment at King that is safe, inclusive, and affirming for all members of the King community including students, families, faculty, staff, and alumni."  

Read more about King School Announces New Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Middle School Advisories Celebrate Women at King for Women's History Month

In celebration of Women's History Month, middle school advisories organized an appreciation for women by acknowledging the wonderful contributions made by women at King School. The advisors identified a woman at King, referred to as a celebrant, that they would like to get to know better and prepared questions for an interview with her. Information about the celebrant is then featured on a dedicated bulletin board.

Read more about Middle School Advisories Celebrate Women at King for Women's History Month
Grade 3 students are inspired to advocate for change

Guided by their teacher, Ellen Eagleton, grade 3 students are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about and empathetic to social issues in the world. Adom Bedu-Addo is inspired by César Chávez because "people would still be treated like slaves on farms" without Chávez's advocacy on behalf of farmworkers. "People can now have freedom, though there is more work to be done to have people treated equally," Adom adds.

Read more about Grade 3 students are inspired to advocate for change
Julie Lythcott-Haims shared her powerful story with the King community

Author, speaker, and activist Julie Lythcott-Haims engaged members of the King School community in a thought-provoking virtual conversation about race and identity that revolved around her memoir Real American. The book tells the author's journey of acceptance as a Black and biracial woman living in predominantly white communities.

The presentation, which took place on January 28, was part of the 2021 King Reads Together series sponsored by the Parents' Association, in partnership with the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at King.

Read more about Julie Lythcott-Haims shared her powerful story with the King community
Lower School students grow as tuneful, artful, and musically literate musicians

Giana Mazotas, Grade 4 student, feels she "likes music class because there are so many songs that you can learn and instruments you can play. You can work with friends and practice independently when you're playing the ukulele. It helps me learn when we can talk to each other and move around the room to keep ourselves active. Because we know so many chords and songs, I feel like I can keep playing the ukulele even after we stop playing in music class."

Read more about Lower School students grow as tuneful, artful, and musically literate musicians
Upper School students create and facilitate civil rights activity in honor of MLK Day

When the Upper School's newly formed human rights cohort was asked if they would like the opportunity to create community programming for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the answer was a resounding "yes." Together, students worked to create an interactive board game style activity designed to uncover unsung Civil Rights heroes and stories.

Read more about Upper School students create and facilitate civil rights activity in honor of MLK Day
Lower School students explore the legacy of Dr. King and consider what it means to be a change-maker

Lower School students at King School learned about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the long-lasting implications of his lifelong work toward justice and equality. Students tackled questions such as, “What does it mean to be a change-maker?” and “What kind of change-maker do you strive to be?”

Read more about Lower School students explore the legacy of Dr. King and consider what it means to be a change-maker
Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff, Head of Lower School at King School, embraces the Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum and building relationships

Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff joined King School this year as Head of Lower School. In this conversation, she shares her perspective on how students benefit from the Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum and from social emotional learning, plus more. Read part one of the Q&A with Dr. Lizaire-Duff in which she describes her perspective on her focus during her first year and on how students benefit from experiential learning.

Read more about Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff, Head of Lower School at King School, embraces the Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum and building relationships
SDLC and PoCC provide a meaningful experience for students and staffulty

A group of King Upper School students and staffulty attended the 2020 National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference (PoCC), and its student counterpart, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), and found it to be a meaningful and productive experience, despite the virtual format. "I personally enjoyed SDLC just as much as I did in person," says Sarah Cepeda '22, who attended the in-person conference in Seattle last year. "I wasn't expecting to have such a powerful experience." For King students, SDLC's affinity groups were the highlight of the conference. "The Latinx affinity group was amazing," says Sofia Izurieta '23. "Sometimes I've wondered if I really do belong here. Seeing and talking to other people who look like me and have the same background as me made me realize that I'm not alone. I do belong here. I do deserve to be here."

Read more about SDLC and PoCC provide a meaningful experience for students and staffulty
2020 National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference: Q&A with King School Head Dr. Karen Eshoo

What does it mean to be a leader of a school community at this critical moment in history? What does it mean to be a leader and a person of color in a predominantly white institution? These questions and more were explored in Lora McManus's "You Are Not Alone: Experiences of Discrimination and Microaggressions Toward Women of Color (WOC) Heads of Independent Schools," one of the presentations at the 2020 People of Color Conference (PoCC). King School's own Dr. Karen Eshoo, Head of School, participated in the study that the presentation explores and was one of three presenters at the PoCC webinar.

Read more about 2020 National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference: Q&A with King School Head Dr. Karen Eshoo