DEI

Task Force and Goals

DEI In Action

In the summer of 2020, Sierra Canyon administrators established the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force in order to further our understanding of the national conversation on racism and strengthen our commitment to anti-bias curriculum, programming, and professional development for the benefit of our students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Goals

 
  • Define areas in daily school life where faculty, staff, students, and parents need more awareness, understanding, and engagement in order to advance the DEI mission and present proposals for change to the Head of School.

  • Foster a community grounded in equity and inclusion where people of all diverse backgrounds and identities are valued by creating supportive and inclusive spaces and opportunities for all faculty, staff, and students.

  • Review and revise our Pre-K through 12th Grade curriculum and student programming by assessing where DEI should be enhanced and ensuring that all individuals and identity groups at Sierra Canyon find themselves represented in the curriculum. (Set for completion by the end of summer 2021.)

  • Promote and provide ongoing DEI educational and professional growth opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and parents by means of speakers, workshops, and training.

  • Commit to hiring a full-time Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as recruiting a diverse faculty, staff, and administration and supporting them through professional development and networking opportunities. (Set to hire a Director of DEI by the spring of 2021 for the 2021-2022 school year.)

Key Information

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Important Definitions

    Diversity - Plurality of perspectives and differences
    Sierra Canyon values diversity in every aspect of school life. We recognize and respect that all individuals are unique, bringing with them their own personal traits, perspectives and experiences including, but not limited to, ability and health (mental and/or physical), age, ethnicity, family composition, gender, learning style, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. A diverse community built upon mutual respect appreciates and celebrates each other’s differences as well as learns and grows from them.

    Equity - Fairness of treatment and access
    Different from equality, which is the state of being equal. Equity levels the playing field by understanding and addressing each person’s unique situation, not in the same way, but in a way that is necessary and applicable to that individual. Equitable practices ensure that all students, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc., have access to school resources and opportunities.

    Inclusion - Culture of belonging 
    The creation of a school culture that is welcoming and accessible to every student, parent, and teacher. Inclusion requires treating people of different backgrounds and lived experiences with appreciation, dignity, and respect, giving everyone space and opportunity to participate and be heard.

    Social Justice - Full and equitable participation 
    The belief that everyone is entitled to equitable rights, equal opportunities, and equal treatment in order to fully participate in society. Each of us at Sierra Canyon School has a personal responsibility to respect and work with others with the shared goal of creating a compassionate, just, and equitable learning environment. We are hopeful that through a commitment to social justice our students and faculty are propelled to action, making a positive difference in local, national, and global communities.
  • DEI Task Force Members

    Rayan Ansari –  Student
    Lola Barris – Student
    Delaya Beard – Faculty
    Shad Bello – Student
    Hutch Bibby – Faculty
    Charlene Boudreaux – Trustee, Former Parent
    Steve Burnett – Administration
    Amy Calvert – Administration, Parent
    Sandy Chan – Faculty
    Andre Chevalier – Faculty, Former Parent
    Tamiko Davis – Trustee, Parent
    Tracy Fadin – Faculty
    Jenny Hernández – Administration, Faculty
    Adam Horwitz – Administration, Parent
    Tom Keller – Administration, Parent
    Lindsay Koss – Administration
    Shayne La Chapelle – Trustee, Parent
    Dr. Sun Lee – Faculty
    Morgan May – Faculty, Administration
    Alanna Marcelletti – Faculty
    Lauren Morrow – Faculty
    Deborah Monroe – Administration, Parent
    Frankie Mosely – Student
    Aara Nanavaty – Student
    Kendall Pillsbury – Staff, Parent
    Abdullah Rafique – Student
    Laura Reardon-Childs – Faculty
    Dave Rotblat – Student
    Stephanie Rubin – Administration, Parent
    Mana Sadeghi – Student
    Noah Salamon – Administration, Faculty, Parent
    Mark Servé – Faculty, Parent
    Rehani Slipock – Faculty, Parent
    Amy Trell – Administration
    Nick Waddles – Trustee
    Dr.  Emily Weisberg – Faculty
    Deborah Whitlock-Trotter – Faculty
  • DEI Task Force Committees

    Faculty and Student Training and Support
    This committee’s goals are to define areas in daily school life where faculty, students and staff need more awareness, understanding and engagement in order to advance the DEI mission. Find and facilitate workshops and speakers to inform and train faculty, staff and students. Find speakers that are well versed in multiple grade levels including our youngest students. Explore new ways to affirm different cultures on our campuses. Set up “safe spaces” for students and faculty to discuss issues related to DEI and current events.

    Parent Association Diversity Committee
    The Sierra Canyon Parent’s Association has organized a DEI committee for parents, co-chaired by two Sierra Canyon trustees, which identifies ways, through PA sponsored programming, for Sierra Canyon to raise awareness of diversity and inclusiveness at school while highlighting the experiences and cultures of our Trailblazer families. Parents from both Lower and Upper Campuses are invited to participate.

    Website and Resources Committee
    This committee focuses on creating and updating a DEI webpage which highlights the goals and initiatives of Sierra Canyon’s DEI Task Force and its smaller committees, student clubs, organizations and affinity groups, and serves as an on-going resource for thought-provoking books, articles, and podcasts on topics such as implicit bias, how to be anti-racist, inclusive practices in schools, gender and identity, white privilege, and social justice.

    Lower and Upper Campus Curriculum and Programming Committees
    Upper Campus Curriculum Committee serves to continually review what and how content and skills have been taught relevant to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and subsequently advise the administration to consider relevant and substantive changes to the curriculum. The group has conducted an audit of all their respective departmental curricula including texts, authors, movements, historical figures, et al. in order to delineate its current scope and sequence. After thoughtful deliberation, changes are already underway. As an example, after immediate research and collaboration, the department selected more poets and authors of color for the 2020 – 2021 school year, increasing the diversity of what was already a well-represented list of literary works.

    Voices for Change Mission Statement
    SC Voices for Change is a student-created and student-run club dedicated to promoting a culture of inclusivity and tolerance within our community. We are dedicated to advancing all causes that help increase diversity, inclusivity, and equity. We arrange the invitation of guest speakers to address the student body, engage in fundraising ventures, run awareness campaigns, and promote our agenda through countless other activist methods while working with the administration to uphold our school's core values. We aspire to be agents of change on- and off-campus, and in doing so, hope to improve not only our school and our community but also ourselves. Any student or alumnus/alumna who is interested in advancing the cause is encouraged to join. Together we will accomplish great things.

Task Force Co-Chairs

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Steve Burnett

    Steve Burnett 

    Director of Student Advancement
    Ext. 303
  • Photo of Deborah Monroe

    Deborah Monroe 

    Associate Head of School
    Ext. 125

I AM a Trailblazer

    • I AM a Trailblazer

Lower School: 11052 Independence Avenue
Middle and Upper School: 20801 Rinaldi Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311  | 818.882.8121
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.