History of the Diversity Committee


  • The Diversity Committee was established by faculty members and included faculty, parents and external community members.


  • Changeworks, a national organization, conducted a school culture assessment focused on race and racial diversity.


  • VISIONS, Inc. continued with assessment of the school.
  • Diversity workshops were provided for faculty, leadership, parents and board members. These focused on identifying “isms” at Duke School, such as classism, racism, sexism, etc.


  • Fuqua Focus Group surveyed African American families to determine what attracts them, why they leave, what they need, and how Duke School addresses their needs.
  • The Diversity Committee was renamed as a steering committee to advise the Leadership Team and Board of Trustees.


  • Duke School held a school wide community meeting focused on diversity. Three themes emerged:
  1. We must attract, retain and embrace faculty, staff, families and students of color.
  2. We must strive to recognize, embrace and celebrate the diversity and multiculturalism that already exist within our community.
  3. We need to ensure that our curriculum and all our messages communicate clearly to our children about diversity and multiculturalism in age appropriate ways so they can understand, accept and appreciate differences.


  • A board-level diversity committee was formed in 2008 and the previous committee continued at the community level to do operational work. Board committee focus was strategic. A mission statement, charge and goals were defined and approved by Board of Trustees
  • Parents organized affinity parent groups, which included 1) Parents of children of color, 2) Parents of adopted children, 3) Parents of children of divorce, 4) Single parents, 5) LGBT parents, 6) Parents striving to raise children who embrace multiculturalism, and 7) Parents of children with learning challenges.


  • The Board of Trustees participated in a diversity workshop, facilitated by VISIONS, Inc. in February 2009.


  • Duke School begins to send faculty and staff of color, as well as some employees who are white allies, to the annual NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC).


  • Consultant Ian Symmonds analyzed the community to determine priorities of the school to help set the 2015 strategic plan


  • The Diversity Committee became the L.I.F.E. (Learning, Inclusion, Family, Equity and Empowerment) Committee, part of the Parent Student Organization. 


  • Dr. Linda C. Tillman of FAIRE Consulting Group conducted An Investigation of the Perspectives of Parents of African American Males at Duke School.
  • Duke School’s five-year Strategic Plan, FIRE, which stands for Future Orientation, Innovative Approaches and Students, Results that are Impactful, and Equity and Justice.
  • Duke School initiates Racial Equity Institute (REI) training for all employees and board members and for any parents who would like to take it. 


  • Working with a Consultant, Duke School conducted a Pre-Audit of Systemic and Unconscious Bias at the school. One of the recommendations from this report was to hire a diversity director.


  • The inaugural Director of Equity and Justice is hired to carry out the work of the Equity and Justice pillar of the strategic plan and build an equitable and just school community. The Director of Equity and Justice works alongside the school community and sits on the school Leadership Team. 



Duke School Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of diversity as stated in the school’s mission and diversity mission statements. The Board Equity & Justice Committee will guide the school’s strategic planning for and about diversity, will help develop diversity objectives and will review the school’s policies and governance on an ongoing basis to ensure they promote diversity. The committee will take actions to guarantee that adequate resources are allocated to forward Duke School’s equity and justice work. The committee will be charged to provide diversity education to the board and ensure the board considers the diversity implications of its decisions.