Group of faculty and students outside

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Talking about race relations, religion, class, or gender identity can be uncomfortable. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. But having respectful and open conversations around diversity pushes us to see the world differently, to think about people and place and circumstance from new perspectives. How empowering, this opportunity for individual and collective growth.

We consider our diversity work of utmost importance at our school and in our world. At Lab, we are actively listening, talking, and working with more intention around our commitment to the span of issues that fall under the umbrella of diversity.

“We are in the right space to affect our students’ lives, and I don’t mean simply making them read black poetry or focus on topics we think are relevant. Having an open mind and being able to listen to and understand different people from different walks of life is probably the greatest gifts we can give our students.”
—    Chidiki Jones-Whitley, Assistant Teacher - Performing Arts

We invite you to review our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan:

View DEI Strategic Plan

View our student and faculty Diversity Roundtable, videotaped following the National Association of Independent School’s People of Color and Student Diversity Leadership Conferences in 2017:
 

“The Student Diversity Leadership Conference was both eye opening and intense. So many differences welcomed, connections made, and lessons learned when it comes to diversity and inclusion. I made so many friends and really got time to explore my Identity overall. I never felt so alive in my life! Truly, at this conference, I was able to find myself! I now understand the importance of self-advocacy, I'm now not afraid to speak up on what I believe in. I can't even begin to explain how beneficial this conference was to me. I was extremely happy to be around others that can understand and relate to me, and I have now opened up more with a few of my peers!”
—    Lab School Junior

We recognize that being a student with a learning difference, a parent of a child with a learning difference, or an educator of a student with a learning difference is but one aspect of the identity our community members bring to Lab. Our work in diversity, equity, and inclusion grows from that starting point, and is supported by our faculty, staff, administrators, students, and parents.

Some of our initiatives include:

  • Work with Dr. Derrick Gay, a nationally-recognized diversity consultant to help us develop better cultural competencies and lead us in generating strategic goals for diversity and inclusivity.

  • Attend national and local faculty and student conferences, focused on diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

  • Recruit new faculty and staff at diversity hiring fairs.

  • Hold faculty book clubs, which feature many books on diversity and inclusivity.

  • Host parent meetings to discuss topics around diversity and inclusivity.

  • Invite speakers to talk on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

  • Establish several diversity-related clubs in High and Junior High School.

  • Integrate themes of identity and stereotypes in 9th grade English and Social Studies curricula.

  • Expand library to include more titles that represent different cultures and family compositions.

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  • Yvette Shepard

Division Diversity Coordinators:

  • Christopher Edmonds – High School

  • Destin Tunca – Junior High

  • Kay Lauren Miller – Intermediate

  • Emily Courtney – Elementary

DEI Steering Committee Members:

  • Robert Lane, Director of Admissions

  • Nancy Rowland, Associate Director of Admissions

  • Sonya Hoffmann, Parent

  • Leslie Clark, Parent

  • Katherine Schantz, Head of School

Group of faculty and students outside
Yvette Shepard

Yvette Shepard

Staff
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We sit down with Lab's Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for little Q&A!

Full Story

For more information, please contact:

Yvette Shepard

Yvette Shepard

  • Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion