Diversity and Inclusion

Social Justice Task Force

During the 2020-2021 school year, three Social Justice Task Force subcommittees met throughout the year and developed specific recommendations to build a more inclusive, equitable school community. The subcommittees accomplished their goal of compiling a list of action items; however, the real work was in the thoughtful, honest and sometimes difficult conversations, which were possible due to the commitment, authenticity and vulnerability of the participants. More than 80 people—including students, alumni, parents, trustees, faculty and administrators—worked collaboratively for 14 meetings, with numerous emails, many hours studying resource materials and dozens of working notes. Tower Hill extends sincere gratitude to all who participated.

Social Justice Task Force Subcommittees

List of 4 items.

  • Curriculum Subcommittee

    The Curriculum Subcommittee is committed to eradicating racist and biased curricula as well as expressions of racism and other expressions of bigotry. This subcommittee compiled three short-term recommendations to be carried out in the 2022-2023 school year, which included detailed questions and notes faculty can use as a tool for reflection and revision. The recommendations are focused on immediate impacts for students and include the establishment of norms in each classroom, coursework that provides “windows” and “mirrors,” and student-centered syllabi that clearly states each teacher/department’s policy with regard to DEI.
    In addition, three long-term recommendations, focused on the sustainability of culture change, were identified to be carried out in the 2023 academic year and beyond, as well as determine ways to evaluate and measure success. Time was dedicated during the February in-service day for departments to develop three DEI commitments to be implemented in their curriculum.  
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  • Policies and Procedures Subcommittee

    The goal of this subcommittee was to identify and develop schoolwide policies and procedures for students, faculty and staff to swiftly and systematically respond to any instances of racism, bias and/or bigotry. One of the first tasks of the subcommittee was to modify divisional and employee handbooks, which have been updated to further detail what will not be tolerated with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion.   
    For the 2022-2023 school year, student handbooks will be adjusted to contain non-gendered language, and most awards and leadership roles will be non-gendered. At the same time, the school will make sure there is an equitable distribution of awards.
    To strengthen its response protocols around incidents of racism, bias and bigotry, Tower Hill has created a flowchart of the procedural steps that should be taken both for students and for faculty and staff. It was recommended that the Director of Social Justice be included and consulted throughout the inquiry and disciplinary process as necessary for the given incident. An infographic has been created so that students easily understand who they can turn to for help, and it will be displayed throughout the school.
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  • Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee

    The Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee’s aim was to provide advice and make recommendations on programming, initiatives and services affecting the recruitment and retention of faculty that is in alignment with Tower Hill’s strategic plan. The building blocks for many of the recommendations were already in place. For example, the school engages with Nemnet, an organization committed to assisting schools in the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff. The school is utilizing many of Nemnet’s strategies and best practices. Interviewers at Tower Hill have taken anti-bias training, and the school is exploring other ways to improve internal processes. 
    Retaining excellent faculty is a top priority for Tower Hill, which starts with making new faculty feel included and giving them the tools to make an impact. The school has a mentor program for new faculty, which has been strengthened with a detailed handbook. The subcommittee discussed ways to improve and expand upon the existing mentor program specifically for faculty of color. The Director of Social Justice has regular meetings with each new faculty member of color to establish rapport, provide support and answer questions that might ease their transition into Tower Hill and the Wilmington area. 
    The school is working to create a support system that specifically embraces diverse faculty and staff. One approach being explored is establishing affinity groups to build connections within the school.
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  • Future Focus

    Tower Hill’s work on creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive school is ongoing, and our Head of School, Board and school leadership are all deeply committed. The values of engaged citizenship, respect for others and critical thinking have always been part of Tower Hill’s mission and are the bedrock of our commitment to inclusivity. This work is fundamentally about ensuring academic and community excellence at the highest level.
    While our progress is measurable, we recognize that we still have work to do. We look forward to advancing our social justice program and improving diversity, equity and inclusion, which will strengthen our community. To those who served on the task force, thank you for your strength, honesty, time and dedication to this important work.

Social Justice Task Force Members

Carmen Wallace '93, Trustee, Chair 
Dyann Connor, Former Director of Social Justice, Vice Chair
Rachel Ashbrook
Suzanne Ashley
Sam Barrett '16
Nadia Belkadi
Evelyn Brady
Alaina Brandon
Jane Chesson
Christine Cirillo Gilbert
Courtney Collier-Beyer
Katie Conway
Cristina Cooke
Joseph Cooke
Selene Costello
Francine Davis-Motley
Rick Deadwyler
Yvonne Deadwyler
Andy Dickerson '99
Everett Dickerson
Ellen Ellis
Paityn Farrow
Vickie Fedele
Tara Fletcher
Robert Freeze
Shawn Futch '16
Andrea Glowatz
Jennifer Griffin
Charles Habgood
Art Hall
Paula Hall
Xiangdong “Hancock” Han
Natalie Haskins
Courtney Hayman '14
Monty Hayman '87
Diamond Howell-Shields
Kelly Hunter
Suchi Iyengar
Olivia Jordan
Aislynn Kator
Saira Kazmi
Dr. Saima Khan
Jody Lanza-Gregory '13
Emani Larkin
Delaney Leonard
Dr. Lauren Lineback
Victoria Longo
Carmen Martinez
Dr. Nicholas Matlin
Dr. Anna Miller
Jalyn Miller
Lois Miller
Susan Miller
Jasmine Minhas '18
Natalie Moravek
Rachael Morrison
Zipora Morrison
Paul Mulvena
Dana Nestor
Mikelle Phillips
Anthony Pisapia
Reece Ratliff
Penny Rodrick-Williams
Chloe Sachs
Andrea Sarko
Claire Saunders
Andrew Scibilia
Bertram Scott
Sabrina Scott
Shefali Shah-Munshi
Stephanie Silverman
Laura Simon
Asha Smith
Caitlin Smith
Funke Soleye
Bessie Speers
Ilicia Strasser
Ann Sullivan
Katie Sullivan
Dr. Sabrina Thomas
Matt Twyman
Mary Warren Foulk '87
Makayla Warthen
Maya Warthen
Michael Warthen
Rikki Warthen
Kaiya Whitfield
Michelle Wrambel
Alexis Wrease '17
Roy Wright
Hannah Zhao
Jen Zuck