Equity and Community
Our Belief Statement
At UHS, we believe that the deepest learning requires collaboration among people who embody a diversity of backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. In order to build and sustain a community that is comprised of a wide range of social and cultural identities, we must continually engage in furthering our self-knowledge, equity literacy, and ability to communicate effectively across differences. We challenge ourselves to do this work on both a personal and an institutional level, recognizing that our community is part of a larger and more complex world.
We aspire to the following:
Equity in Access and Support
- Recruit and retain a student body, faculty, staff, and board of trustees that reflect the racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity of the Bay Area.
- Ensure that every student has access to a full range of school opportunities regardless of family circumstances.
- Provide equitable pathways for the professional growth and leadership development of our faculty and staff.
- Create and maintain support structures that are as diverse and varied as the needs of our students, faculty, and staff.
Care and Interconnection
- Use our articulated UHS Community Agreements as a model for embracing differing perspectives, and for building and sustaining relationships in and outside of the classroom.
- Create structures and programs to foster building community on a whole-school level, with adults modeling connection and care amongst themselves for the students.
- Challenge ourselves to practice openness and empathy when a member of our community experiences hardship.
- Recognize and address injustice by talking to each other, not about each other.
- Foster a sense of “purpose larger than the self” by seeking opportunities to build connections with people, institutions, and organizations in our larger community.
Diversity Responsive Teaching and Learning
- Examine and adapt our practices with the intention of helping all students thrive.
- Act with an awareness of our personal cultural lenses and the normative culture that we, consciously or unconsciously, create together.
- Review and refine the content of our curriculum to ensure that it provides mirrors in which our students see their own realities reflected as well as windows into the realities of others.
- Draw respectfully on the wisdom, experience, and backgrounds of our increasingly diverse community members to best support teaching and learning.
Institutional Self-Assessment and Reflection
- Assess and benchmark our progress in increasing student, faculty, staff, and board diversity.
- Regularly measure the growth, success, and well-being of our community members, and design responses to any patterns of inequity that we identify.
- Always use an equity lens as we design changes to our programs, policies, and practices.
- Look beyond our walls for models, best practices, and opportunities to collaborate in order to address our blind spots.
Adopted by UHS faculty and staff, May 2018
Endorsed by the UHS board of trustees, May 2018
Founding member of Bay Area Independent School Teacher Access Consortium (BAISTAC). BAISTAC is a consortium of independent schools who value equity and access in recruitment, hiring, and retention practices in education. This organization strives to collaborate with and support one another to create pathways and increase access for local candidates from marginalized backgrounds so they can better understand independent schools, feel supported in the hiring process, and sustain careers in education.
Member of the Inclusion Dashboard Consortium, currently working to create longitudinal inclusion dashboards in order to hold ourselves accountable to our Statement on Equity and Community.
Member of People of Color in Independent Schools of Northern California (POCIS), whose mission is “To promote a positive effort by teachers, administrators, parents, and students who believe that diversity, equity, and social justice are endemic to quality education for all.”
Student Equity Leadership Team
The Student Equity Leadership Team is made up of the student VPs of Diversity & Equity, student representatives from the identity clubs/affinity groups listed below, and is chaired by the Director of Equity & Community. This group meets biweekly to ensure that each group can be aware of the topics being discussed and the activities being planned by the other groups, notice overlaps and opportunities for collaboration. We also discuss leadership challenges and lean on each other for the collective wisdom in the group. In this way, we aim for our work in supporting diversity, equity, and social justice efforts to be collaborative and cohesive, not siloed.
Affinity Groups/Identity Clubs/Issues Clubs at UHS (2019-2020)
Asian/Asian American Pacific Islander affinity group (AAPI)
Black Student Union (BSU)
Body Positive Club
Financial Aid/Socioeconomic Status affinity group (FASES)
Men of Color affinity group
Mental Health Coalition
Middle Eastern and North African affinity group (MENA)
Riot Committee (affinity group for girls of color, which puts on the annual Riot Conference)
South Asian Club
Spectra (affinity group for LGBTQIA+ students and adults)
Students for Women’s Equality and Rights (SWEAR)
Understanding Whiteness (affinity group for White/European American faculty and staff)