Diversity and Inclusion

Social Justice Task Force

As part of our school commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Tower Hill has formed a Social Justice Task Force. This group includes students, alumni, parents, faculty and administrators, led by Trustee Carmen Wallace ‘93 and Director of Social Justice Dyann Connor. We are excited about the opportunity to work collaboratively on essential initiatives as we continue to build a more inclusive, equitable school community. We will share updates from the Task Force throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
 
Diversity and inclusivity, in all aspects of identity, broaden and enhance the educational experience. Varied perspectives are a source of strength, creativity, enrichment and renewal in the Tower Hill community. These values are found in both our mission statement and in our institutional goals:

Mission
Tower Hill School prepares students from diverse backgrounds for full and creative engagement with a dynamic world.  Each student is provided with an educational experience that emphasizes the development of an inquisitive, discerning and critical mind; the value of being creative and aesthetically sensitive; the appreciation of physical well-being; the ability to collaborate and to function as part of a team; and the growth of character.

Institutional Goal on Inclusivity and Student-Centered School Culture
We will continue to focus on inclusivity, both celebrating and challenging ourselves to ensure a student-centered school culture, an exhilarating academic and extracurricular experience, and a community that knows, welcomes and respects all of our students, faculty, staff and families.

Tower Hill School embraces a broad definition of diversity that acknowledges the many ways each of us is unique, including, but not limited to, our various talents, perspectives, goals, ethnicities, identities, and religions. With this broad definition in mind, we hope to create an educational environment in which each person is genuinely valued, respected and included. We believe that diversity and inclusivity enrich the educational experience and strengthen our overall community.

Dyann Connor
Director of Social Justice and Dean of Recruitment
dconnor@towerhill.org
 

Messages to the School Community on Social Justice

List of 3 items.

  • Response to Open Letter

    July 21, 2020
    Read More
  • Commitments Toward Social Justice

    June 23, 2020
    Read More
  • Message from Head of School Bessie Speers

    June 1, 2020
    Read More

Social Justice Program

Equity and Inclusion Coordinators and Committees
This year, to better support our school community, we have added Equity and Inclusion Coordinators in each division as follows:
  • Anna Correa and Ann Sullivan in the Lower School
  • Rachel Ashbrook and Carmen Martinez in the Middle School
  • Anna Miller, Ph.D., and Asha Smith in the Upper School
These coordinators have worked with Dyann Connor to launch the following committees:
  • Religious and Cultural Committee
  • Community Conversations Committee
  • Social Justice and the Environment Committee
  • DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Faculty Committee
The above committees plan to meet regularly to discuss and implement community-building ideas and educational initiatives on equity and inclusion at Tower Hill.

Tower Hill School’s Social Justice Program also included guest speakers, professional development workshops, conversations and other initiatives that invite students to engage in courageous conversations about build and engage a more inclusive and student-centered community:
 
Faculty Development
This summer our new faculty and several current teachers attended the ADVIS Multicultural Resource Center’s professional development conference at Episcopal Academy where they learned how to create student-centered, inclusive classroom environments. In addition to this event, our faculty attend Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training throughout the year, including:
  • Faculty SEED: Each year a group of faculty volunteer to form a cohort as they continue their professional development on diversity and inclusivity through the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Program at Tower Hill School. More information.
  • MCRC@ADVIS: Tower Hill’s new faculty attend the bi-annual MultiCultural Resource Center at Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools’ multi-state diversity, equity and inclusion conference. This conference is widely known and attended by independent schools in the multi-state area. In 2019, Tower Hill hosted the MCRC event where over 60 workshop presentations were available for over 800 faculty/administrators and heads of schools in attendance. 
  • ARC of Justice at Tower Hill School: Tower Hill’s Anti-Racist Conference of Justice is a bi-annual virtual conference held at Tower Hill School. The event is focused on educating on the systems of racism and sharing strategies to move our schools to becoming antiracist communities that are fully inclusive and welcoming of all students and families. Click here to see the ARC of Justice speakers.

Social Justice Program and Home and School 
The Director of Social Justice also collaborates with Home and School parent groups: PAATH (Parents of African American students at Tower Hill) and DISTINCT (Diversity and Inclusion at Tower Hill).
 
Together, Tower Hill, PAATH and DISTINCT host several educational events and socials throughout the year, for our entire family community. 
 
Parent SEED Program
We host a parent SEED cohort, which is similar to the faculty SEED cohort. Members of this cohort include parents and parent leaders from Lower, Middle and Upper School.


Speakers and Trainers

Jennifer Bryan, Ph.D.
Founder of Team Finch Consultants

Jenna Chandler Ward
Co-Founder of Teaching While White

Sandra Chapman
Founder of Chap Equity

Jen Cort
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Educator

Elizabeth Denevi, Ph.D.
Associate Director of the Mid West Educational Collaborative

Karla Fleshman
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, Transitions Delaware
 
Adam Foley, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator for the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Delaware

Nyle Fort
Ph.D. student in religion and African-American studies at Princeton University
 
Alden Habacon
University of British Columbia Diversity and Inclusion Strategist
 
Carol Henderson, Ph.D.
Vice Provost University of Delaware Office of Equity and Inclusion
 
Rosetta Lee
Seattle Girls’ School Diversity Speaker and Trainer

Sheri Schmidt, Ph.D.
Social Justice Educator

Bryan Stevenson, J.D.
Director of the Equal Justice Initiative
Professor at New York University



Social Justice Team

DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
Dyann Connor
Strategic vision, program coordination


EQUITY AND INCLUSION COORDINATORS
Ann Sullivan
First Grade Teacher
AMAZE Anti-bias literature

Anna Elliott
Fourth Grade Teacher
Morning meetings and announcements

Carmen Martinez
Middle School Spanish
Lunch and Learns

Rachel Ashbrook
Middle School English
Lunch and Learns

Asha Smith
Upper School Coordinator

Anna Miller, Ph.D.
Upper School French
Community Conversations and Religious and Cultural Committee

PAATH and DISTINCT

PAATH (Parents of African-Americans at Tower Hill)
PAATH sponsors activities and programs that celebrate the African-American experience as a valued and integral component of a Tower Hill education. We also foster an appreciation for diversity, promote cultural competence and help create a supportive environment for African-American families.

DISTINCT (Diversity and Inclusion at Tower Hill)
DISTINCT organizes social and community-building activities to promote the fellowship of parents who advocate for the benefits of diversity in education at Tower Hill School. We also collaborate with Director of Social Justice Dyann Connor to support schoolwide events and programming.

 
To join PAATH and/or DISTINCT, please contact Director of Social Justice Dyann Connor at dconnor@towerhill.org.
 

Diversity and Inclusion Events

List of 7 events.

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