Belonging at Blair
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
I. Our Commitment
Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at Blair is grounded in our mission—to know our students and to prepare them to thrive in a diverse and complex world that we believe they will make better. As a School, we’ve endeavored to be thoughtful and deliberate, to ensure our actions are meaningful, based on good counsel from diverse voices, research, and our community’s lived experiences and truths.
We are committed to creating and sustaining an environment that promotes authentic self-expression, that is inclusive, that fosters meaningful understanding and deep relationships, and that ensures “all in” and “all together” are a lived reality, rather than simply slogans. Our dedication to the dignity and humanity of all people is unwavering. Any words or actions that deny or demean the dignity and humanity of people have no place in our community.
To provide Trustee oversight of Blair’s campus climate and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, Blair Trustees established a standing Board-level Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and the group’s chair serves on the Board’s Executive Committee.
II. The Inclusivity Committee
Selected based on their roles at the School and their perspectives, varying faculty members and Trustee liaisons comprise Blair’s Inclusivity Committee. The group, which convenes weekly, promotes a sense of belonging in the community, fosters the momentum of DEI work across campus and serves as a resource to adults and students. Meetings provide a forum for discussion, and the Committee acts as a planning and advocacy group for diversity, equity and inclusion matters. Committee members are also charged with the development and execution of DEI programs, review of hiring practices and other work to promote empathy across our community.
Committee members include:
- Emma Barnes O'Neill, Director of Annual Giving
- Emmanuel Bello ’04, Trustee liaison
- Carolyn Conforti-Browse ’79, Dean of Campus Life & Director of Leadership Programs
- Paul Clavel ’88, Director of Athletics
- Dave Facciani, International Student Academic Monitor
- The Rev. David Harvey, Trustee liaison
- Molly Hoyer, English Teacher
- Joyce Lang, Language Department Chair
- Joe Mantegna, Associate Dean of College Counseling
- Nathan Molteni, Dean of Academics
- Ryan Pagotto ’97, Associate Head of School
- Lorry Perry, Assistant Head of School & Dean of Faculty
- Monisha Randhawa, Assistant Dean of Admission & Coordinator of Multicultural Student Recruitment
- Jackie Roecker ’96, Director of Human Resources
- Andee Ryerson, Director of Communications
- Maria Savettiere, Trustee liaison
- Leucretia Shaw, Dean of Strategic Initiatives (chair)
- Ally Thomas, Director of Counseling
III. Action Steps
Below are areas of focus as we execute key priority initiatives of our Strategic Plan, understanding that our work and future steps will continue to evolve as we evaluate what is most effective and listen to our community’s experiences, stories and ideas.
IV. Schoolwide Programs & Initiatives
In the 2020-2021 school year, Blair engaged students in the creation of a new leadership position at Blair: the Belonging & Equity Committee. Students provided insight on the committee’s responsibilities and purview, as well as how members should be selected. The committee launched in the spring of 2021 and members serve in the following roles:
- Student Discussion Directors: Organize on-campus discussions, support ongoing conversations on diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and other related topics.
- Student Directors of Campus Programming: Support campus events that promote DEI efforts. This includes events that other groups may be planning (for example, International Weekend) or creating and planning additional events (such as other heritage month events).
- Student Directors of Campus Outreach: Create proactive opportunities for students to offer feedback on their Blair experiences and organize ways to actively seek that feedback.
- Student Directors of External Outreach: Proactively connect with similar committees and campus groups at other schools, coordinating joint events and sharing ideas and lessons learned.
- Student Discipline Liaisons: The point of contact when incidents of bias occur that need student input. They also spearhead reviews of campus rules and protocols with an anti-bias lens, including offering feedback on the student handbook.