In the fall of 2013, Thacher entered into a strategic partnership with Jones & Associates, a consulting firm dedicated to improving communities and their leaders through inclusion, diversity, and awareness. With their guidance, Thacher has undertaken a comprehensive review of our work around diversity, equity, and inclusion and mapped out a plan for moving forward. Through the framework of Cultural Competency, we are working to give our students and adult constiuents (faculty, staff, board members) the tools necessary to engage in meaningful dialogue around difference.
Advancing these efforts is Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matt Balano, a recognized leader with many years of experience making secondary schools more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. Some of our recent work on this front has focused on hiring initiatives to increase the number of faculty of color on campus, admission outreach to communities of color, the creation of a Faculty/Staff Diversity Council, and a range of student programming.
Student Affinity, Alliance, and Interest Groups
As in so many areas of Thacher life, the School works to provide students with tools and opportunities to become effective leaders. In this way, our students and the organizations they run play an important role in our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and we offer a variety of options for student engagement. We categorize our clubs and groups around three ideas: affinity (meant to support students as they speak from the “I” perspective), alliance (meant to encourage cross-cultural understanding), and interest (bringing together students with a shared interest). While these are not immutable boundaries, they help to organize the work we do to support and inspire our students.