Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 2020
Marin Academy strives to create a learning community that embraces many voices and values diverse perspectives.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are historic values of our school. We recognize that the best education occurs in a learning environment that encourages many voices, drawn from different backgrounds and perspectives. In this environment, students can better understand who they are and the world they live in. Respecting individual differences hones the tools students will need to learn and lead in a globally interconnected society.
Living our mission
A truly inclusive learning community engages everyone—students, faculty, administrators, staff, parents, and alumni. At Marin Academy, students and adults work together to continually push what we know about diversity and equity, and how we practice it every day. Marin Academy is not the first independent school to do this work, but we keep thinking, questioning, and creating initiatives to push the work forward. Examples can be found in four strategic initiatives:
Our Strategic Plan calls us to ensure that our entire community—student body, faculty, staff, administrators, and Board of Trustees—reflect the racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity of the Bay Area. To fully live into this goal requires us to overcome socioeconomic barriers relevant to our place and time, and to build and sustain a diverse school community that rests on a foundation of equity and inclusion. Programs such as tuition assistance, the MA Promise, and the exploration of affordability solutions for school employees reflect our commitment to this goal.
Inclusive teaching and learning
A fully inclusive learning community doesn't ask newcomers to assimilate to an established norm. Rather, each individual helps redefine and expand how we teach and learn. Through professional development opportunities, faculty mentorships, and participation in local and national conferences, we are strengthening core skills in creating open, inclusive, and equitable classrooms. Across every department, our faculty are building a toolkit of teaching techniques designed to improve the way we engage students of different educational and cultural backgrounds in their own learning journey.
Acknowledging and respecting difference
MA gives students and adults in the community opportunities to have discussions about identity factors and how they shape our community here at school and beyond. In our classrooms, we strive to ensure that all voices are respected and heard. In programs such as Identity and Equity Groups we create safe spaces supported by an adult in the community to engage in difficult conversations that respect everyone's perspectives.
We believe that Marin Academy is part of a larger community, beginning with our neighbors and expanding to include the global community. Marin Academy supports students, faculty and staff in engagement with the larger community, for example:
- Crossroads/Aim High, which brings together students from Marin Academy with San Rafael high school students during a dynamic 5-week summer program on the Marin Academy campus.
- The Community Action Program, which integrates service learning projects into academic courses and programs, inviting all students to participate in some form of community engagement each year.
As Dean of Equity and Inclusion, Mya Sullivan works with students and adults throughout the MA community to expand diversity and break down barriers related to race, socioeconomic status, geography, and gender. The goal is a whole-school approach to inclusive education with equity, access, and cultural fluency at its core. Mya also supports the work of our Identity and Equity Groups.