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A

CALL TO

ACTION


A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

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TH E CUR R E NT NATIO NAL D IS COU RSE ABOU T

has put a great deal of well-deserved focus upon all educational institutions. Historically, independent schools have been (and remain) powerful agents of change in our nation. As a result, Brunswick School feels an obligation to use this period of anguish to listen — most especially to our Black students, alumni, and parents — in the R ACE , EQUIT Y, AND JUSTICE

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

T

TH E CUR R E NT NATIO NAL D IS COU RSE ABOU T

has put a great deal of well-deserved focus upon all educational institutions. Historically, independent schools have been (and remain) powerful agents of change in our nation. As a result, Brunswick School feels an obligation to use this period of anguish to listen — most especially to our Black students, alumni, and parents — in the R ACE , EQUIT Y, AND JUSTICE

1


A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

belief that we can and must do better and do so immediately. As stated in our recently updated Strategic Plan, Brunswick’s first and overriding priority is to “launch boys and young men from diverse backgrounds and experiences on lifelong journeys marked by excellence in their endeavors, ethics in their actions, and empathy toward others.” This statement is and has been our North Star. As a school community, we benefit from the guidance and initiative of a committed and informed diversity, equity, and inclusion team overseen by a subcommittee of the Board of

Trustees and, at both the board and administrative levels, we endeavor to nurture and support each and every boy in our charge. Brunswick currently enjoys an incredibly talented student body, 20 percent of whom reflect diversity; and a caring and dedicated faculty, 14 percent of whom reflect diversity. Yet, while student-body diversity has nearly doubled since 2000, our percentage of Black students and Black faculty remains below where it should be. Recent weeks have served to illuminate and emphasize the degree to which our efforts fall short — most especially in terms

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

belief that we can and must do better and do so immediately. As stated in our recently updated Strategic Plan, Brunswick’s first and overriding priority is to “launch boys and young men from diverse backgrounds and experiences on lifelong journeys marked by excellence in their endeavors, ethics in their actions, and empathy toward others.” This statement is and has been our North Star. As a school community, we benefit from the guidance and initiative of a committed and informed diversity, equity, and inclusion team overseen by a subcommittee of the Board of

Trustees and, at both the board and administrative levels, we endeavor to nurture and support each and every boy in our charge. Brunswick currently enjoys an incredibly talented student body, 20 percent of whom reflect diversity; and a caring and dedicated faculty, 14 percent of whom reflect diversity. Yet, while student-body diversity has nearly doubled since 2000, our percentage of Black students and Black faculty remains below where it should be. Recent weeks have served to illuminate and emphasize the degree to which our efforts fall short — most especially in terms

2

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

of supporting Black members of our community: students, faculty, parents, and alumni alike. These past weeks have provided the impetus to hear from all our constituencies, and the call to action is clear. We have met with Black students, alumni, faculty members, and parents. We have endeavored to listen — carefully, openly, and receptively — and we have communicated with frequency both in terms of our unequivocal support of diversity in general and for the sanctity of Black lives in particular. Make no mistake: Diversity in all its forms is of the utmost importance to Brunswick, but

this moment in history is about supporting our Black community, and Brunswick must respond swiftly, thoughtfully, and meaningfully to that call. It is also worth emphasizing that this commitment applies in equal measure to the students of our sister school of Greenwich Academy. As a coordinate Upper School community, this commitment applies to all the students in our charge. Of particular value during this period of review and reflection, two specific letters from alumni, as well as other emails and calls submitted as part of our reflections@ brunswickschool.org outreach effort, served

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

of supporting Black members of our community: students, faculty, parents, and alumni alike. These past weeks have provided the impetus to hear from all our constituencies, and the call to action is clear. We have met with Black students, alumni, faculty members, and parents. We have endeavored to listen — carefully, openly, and receptively — and we have communicated with frequency both in terms of our unequivocal support of diversity in general and for the sanctity of Black lives in particular. Make no mistake: Diversity in all its forms is of the utmost importance to Brunswick, but

this moment in history is about supporting our Black community, and Brunswick must respond swiftly, thoughtfully, and meaningfully to that call. It is also worth emphasizing that this commitment applies in equal measure to the students of our sister school of Greenwich Academy. As a coordinate Upper School community, this commitment applies to all the students in our charge. Of particular value during this period of review and reflection, two specific letters from alumni, as well as other emails and calls submitted as part of our reflections@ brunswickschool.org outreach effort, served

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

to identify and align many of the areas that need immediate attention and support. The two letters from alumni, specifically, asked that we, too, sign their letter as a symbol of solidarity with their efforts. Instead, as is outlined below, we have gone further and expanded the scope of our actions even beyond their expectations in the hope that doing so will be seen as more than just symbolism and, instead, as concrete measures with direct and often immediate impact. We have also invited several of the authors of the alumni letters to join us in our planning efforts going forward. 6

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

To that end, the Board of Trustees joins the administration and faculty in outlining the following major diversity and inclusion initiatives, all of which will continue to position Brunswick School as the educational leader it seeks to be and has become.

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to increase its percentage of Black students and faculty to be more reflective of the community and nation of which we are a part. TH E SCH O O L WIL L SE EK

The school will improve outreach to better identify Black students and faculty of promise.

▶  

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

to identify and align many of the areas that need immediate attention and support. The two letters from alumni, specifically, asked that we, too, sign their letter as a symbol of solidarity with their efforts. Instead, as is outlined below, we have gone further and expanded the scope of our actions even beyond their expectations in the hope that doing so will be seen as more than just symbolism and, instead, as concrete measures with direct and often immediate impact. We have also invited several of the authors of the alumni letters to join us in our planning efforts going forward. 6

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

To that end, the Board of Trustees joins the administration and faculty in outlining the following major diversity and inclusion initiatives, all of which will continue to position Brunswick School as the educational leader it seeks to be and has become.

1 1

to increase its percentage of Black students and faculty to be more reflective of the community and nation of which we are a part. TH E SCH O O L WIL L SE EK

The school will improve outreach to better identify Black students and faculty of promise.

▶  

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

The school will take all necessary steps to significantly increase our financial aid resources, so as to make Brunswick more accessible to students from all economic backgrounds.

▶  

The school will work to institute a comprehensive student transportation plan for the 2021-2022 school year that will better serve students from diverse neighborhoods.

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with and further enhance its programs for anti-racist training for all students and faculty. T H E SC H O O L W I L L CO N T I N U E

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

a comprehensive, internal review of the academic curriculum at all grade levels to ensure the full and accurate accounting of the history, struggles, and contributions of diverse people in general and of Black people in particular. TH E SCH O O L WIL L PE RFORM

and promote appropriate affinity groups for various constituencies, so as to provide needed support and to better inform and educate the broader community. TH E SCH O O L WIL L SUP PORT

The school will create a Faculty of Color Committee charged with mutual support,

▶  

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

The school will take all necessary steps to significantly increase our financial aid resources, so as to make Brunswick more accessible to students from all economic backgrounds.

▶  

The school will work to institute a comprehensive student transportation plan for the 2021-2022 school year that will better serve students from diverse neighborhoods.

▶  

2

2

with and further enhance its programs for anti-racist training for all students and faculty. T H E SC H O O L W I L L CO N T I N U E

8

3 44

3

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

a comprehensive, internal review of the academic curriculum at all grade levels to ensure the full and accurate accounting of the history, struggles, and contributions of diverse people in general and of Black people in particular. TH E SCH O O L WIL L PE RFORM

and promote appropriate affinity groups for various constituencies, so as to provide needed support and to better inform and educate the broader community. TH E SCH O O L WIL L SUP PORT

The school will create a Faculty of Color Committee charged with mutual support,

▶  

9


A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

student mentorship, and recruitment and retention efforts for other faculty of color. Alongside the ongoing work and support provided through our existing student-led groups such as Diversity in Action (DIA), we will also promote subcommittees of student-led affinity groups that specifically focus on providing a safe space that meets the needs of specific racial groups.

▶  

The school will institute an Alumni of Color Committee through the Alumni and Career Offices charged with mentoring current students and recent graduates.

▶  

The director of diversity, equity, and inclu-

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

sion will serve as an ex-officio member of the Brunswick Parents’ Association, as well as of the Board of Trustees.

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TH E SCH O O L’ S ANO NYMOUS EMAIL

drop box “SafeWick” will be promoted as a safe and appropriate avenue to alert the diversity, equity, and inclusion team, as well as the administration, of any instances of racism, including microaggressions. to support and enhance the Horizons at Brunswick program, which supports local elementary students of color in the Greenwich Public School system. TH E SCH O O L WIL L CO NTINU E

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

student mentorship, and recruitment and retention efforts for other faculty of color. Alongside the ongoing work and support provided through our existing student-led groups such as Diversity in Action (DIA), we will also promote subcommittees of student-led affinity groups that specifically focus on providing a safe space that meets the needs of specific racial groups.

▶  

The school will institute an Alumni of Color Committee through the Alumni and Career Offices charged with mentoring current students and recent graduates.

▶  

The director of diversity, equity, and inclu-

▶  

10

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

sion will serve as an ex-officio member of the Brunswick Parents’ Association, as well as of the Board of Trustees.

5 66 5

TH E SCH O O L’ S ANO NYMOUS EMAIL

drop box “SafeWick” will be promoted as a safe and appropriate avenue to alert the diversity, equity, and inclusion team, as well as the administration, of any instances of racism, including microaggressions. to support and enhance the Horizons at Brunswick program, which supports local elementary students of color in the Greenwich Public School system. TH E SCH O O L WIL L CO NTINU E

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

the possibility of regretful associations with a painful past, the title of Headmaster will be changed to Head of School effective immediately. SO AS TO AVO I D

Regular evaluation of our progress is essential. As we get these initiatives underway, the board and administration will also carefully and concurrently assess our metrics. To that end, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) provides an assessment known as AIM (Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism) to all member schools. 12

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

The AIM is an online, confidential survey that elicits feedback on school culture and climate. We will administer this survey to our community and will use the related data to develop — along with all of our partners in this ongoing process — robust metrics to ensure accountability. The board will also consider periodic evaluation of progress, possibly involving an outside consultant. In conclusion, we want to acknowledge the debt we owe to all who have offered input into this process of reflection and to reaffirm our commitment to ongoing review, transparency, and action in this important and essential effort.  13


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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

the possibility of regretful associations with a painful past, the title of Headmaster will be changed to Head of School effective immediately. SO AS TO AVO I D

Regular evaluation of our progress is essential. As we get these initiatives underway, the board and administration will also carefully and concurrently assess our metrics. To that end, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) provides an assessment known as AIM (Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism) to all member schools. 12

A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

The AIM is an online, confidential survey that elicits feedback on school culture and climate. We will administer this survey to our community and will use the related data to develop — along with all of our partners in this ongoing process — robust metrics to ensure accountability. The board will also consider periodic evaluation of progress, possibly involving an outside consultant. In conclusion, we want to acknowledge the debt we owe to all who have offered input into this process of reflection and to reaffirm our commitment to ongoing review, transparency, and action in this important and essential effort.  13


A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

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A C A L L T O A C T I O N 

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Profile for Brunswick School

A Call to Action  

A Call to Action