Diversity Council Announces Recommendations


Graphic by Deniz Bölöni-Turgut

Ava Savino, News Department Editor

   On Oct. 28 2021, the Advisory Council for Diversity and Inclusion officially released their recommendations to the Trinity family. This was the combined representation of the ideas contributed to by all members, whose names were announced last fall by Head of School Byron Lawson. The committee was created to advise the Board of Trustees on different ideas that the school could implement to further support diversity and cultural awareness on campus.

   The council Zoom meetings included time with both the entire council and different subcommittees, each dealing with a different aspect such as student life, marketing and education. English Teacher and Advisory Council member Dean Rhoads said that the goal of the talks was to not only create recommendations for the school to implement, but also talk about long-term support that could guide situations that arise after the board’s sessions discontinue. 

   Trinity Parent and Advisory Council member Mya Hatchette is part of the marketing committee, where she said that they worked on reaching out to the community about Trinity’s message of diversity and inclusion. 

   “It was important to think of ideas and ways that we are already doing that at the school and ways that we could increase that to further show that [diversity and inclusion] are very important to us,” Hatchette said. 

   One of the recommendations of the council was to review and revise the Trinity Prep mission statement. Rhoads explained that mission statements are typically updated every five to ten years to reflect the current focuses of the school, which he said oftentimes change due to events that happen in our culture. 

    “What we were trying to do was come up with a mission that included specific language that would say, ‘[inclusion] is important to us and is a way that we fundamentally support the safety of our population,’” Rhoads said. 

   Another one of the committee recommendations was for the school to create a new faculty position with an expertise in diversity and inclusion. Senior and Advisory Council member Lilly Nguyen said that she has already seen these types of positions present in colleges that she is applying to and believes that it is important to have this kind of support on Trinity’s campus as well. 

   “Their whole job is to make sure that campus is welcoming to people of all genders, races, sexualities and religions, and I think that’s something that Trinity should adopt,” Nguyen said. 

   The final recommendation was to increase the diversity and cultural norms training for both employees and students on campus. Rhoads said that this type of training is important due to the fact that people are not born knowing how to treat each other. 

   “Training should include helping people who are not targets of that kind of behavior to understand what that looks like and feels like,” Rhoads said. 

   Nguyen said that in her committee, they discussed the possibility of increasing diversity training in the form of a graduation credit semester class but ultimately decided that increasing training outside of classes would also be beneficial. 

   “The discrepancy between what we think is the world versus the actual world is vast, and I think that having a course to sort of open our eyes will help,” Nguyen said.

   Hatchette said promoting a diverse community for both faculty and students encourages growth and learning by introducing people to new experiences and cultures. She finds this cause even more important to her and her family as she has African American mixed children while she is Caucasian.

   “I know that my kids are always going to be a little bit different coming into a situation,” Hatchette said. “Whenever I can see an opportunity where we’re going to make sure that they are welcome and that their differences are promoted and seen as good things, I think that’s awesome.”

   With these recommendations being received by the board, Nguyen, Hatchette and Rhoads all believe that it is a step in the right direction on the journey to promoting diversity and inclusion on our campus. 

   “The issue of establishing campus inclusion is not just a one and done thing,” Nguyen said. “Collectively, the Trinity Family has to all come together in their minds if we really want this to happen, and we do really want this to happen.”