Dear Alums,

We wanted to give you an update on the Alumnae Board’s actions and intentions in addressing anti-Black Racism and more broadly becoming a truly inclusive, multicultural community.

The Alumnae Board also developed and ratified our own Antiracism Priorities (see below). We thought it important to take a hard look at our programming, decisions and voices of the Alum Board and to commit to sustained change where needed. This work is separate from the School’s action plans (login required), which were shared over the summer, although related and in line with the School’s efforts.

There was deliberate thought and care that informed the Alumnae Board’s initiatives, and we are aware that this is a living document that may change as we learn more, as we evolve and as we address the process of becoming an antiracist and inclusive community. We have started to mobilize around the priorities, identifying fellow alums who will help lead and support this work. We welcome you to be part of this journey with us by volunteering your energy and skills, providing feedback on our priorities, or sharing your story.

Thank you,
Amina Elderfield '94
Alumnae Board President

The Brearley School Mission Statement
The Brearley School challenges girls of adventurous intellect and diverse backgrounds to think critically and creatively, and to act with courage and integrity. 
The School fosters a love of learning, excellence in the liberal arts, and engagement in a lively and inclusive community. Guided by dedicated faculty and staff, students learn to uplift one another as they grapple with complex ideas and develop a strong sense of self. We value empathy, originality, and depth of thought and character.
The Brearley community cultivates the joy of lasting friendships, the confidence to pursue one's ambitions, and a commitment to the greater good.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
The Brearley School believes that diversity of thought, practice and identity are essential elements in preparing students for principled engagement in the world. We believe in the importance of establishing and strengthening the structures and practices necessary to achieve equitable representation and participation in our school. We are committed to putting these beliefs into action and are therefore engaged in continuous study, self-reflection and dialogue in order to improve and adapt as we learn. We embrace the opportunities and challenges of learning and working in a diverse environment characterized by respect and consideration for the needs of others. In partnership with faculty, staff, students, families and alumnae, we are endeavoring to instill and sustain shared values that promote a welcoming, inclusive and affirming community.

Antiracist Statement
The Brearley School condemns racism in the strongest possible terms and is committed to building an antiracist community. This work requires active introspection, self-awareness and the determination to make conscious and consistently equitable choices on a daily basis. We expect our faculty, staff, students, parents and trustees to pursue meaningful change through deliberate and measurable actions. These actions include participating in antiracist training and identifying and eliminating policies, practices and beliefs that uphold racial inequality in our community

Alumnae Board Antiracism Priorities

Drive better, clearer Alum Board accountability to:  
  • Support alums of color and other people who have been “othered” 
  • Educate ourselves and our communities on ways to better embrace antiracist behaviors and systems  
  • Ensure transparency, representation and antiracism protocols by the Alum Board itself 
What Will The Alumnae Board Do To Support This Priority
Alum Board 
Structure and 
  • Create a Statement of Values & Culture for Brearley Alumnae Board 
  • Re-evaluate Alum Board structures and focus to seat more alum of color and diverse background
    • Enhance the nomination process and membership 
    • Rethink and ratify alum board criteria and make public (i.e. recruit for specific skill sets, non-NY based, diverse) 
  • Advocate for DEI training for the current Alum Board and explore ways to expand to the wider alum community
Repair / Building 
  • Ensure that all affinity organizations (notably Miller Society and Queerly Brearley) have the Alum Board partnership and support to achieve their goals
  • Welcome other prospective affinity groups to form.  We will refer to the collective of affinity groups as the Brearley Alum Alliance of Inclusion (tentative title), to ensure that the Alum Board is amplifying the voices, experiences and perspectives of those who have not traditionally had platforms in our community 
  • Rethink structure, participation and substance of all future events including panelists, moderators, location, time, subject matter for all Alum Committees 
  • Represent Alumnae Board on the Antiracism DEI Committee and ensure active Alum participation where needed/wanted
Learning and Open Exchange 
  • Host marquee community-wide Town Hall with antiracism leader to support subsequent smaller sessions
  • Create Alum Learning Group for white alums that reads/watches/discusses common works about experiences of diverse communities and lived experiences, meets periodically with volunteer alum moderators, can host multiple sessions/month for time zones, affinity groups, etc. 
Evaluation and Feedback 
  • Self-assess progress against stated goals 
  • Establish consistent forums to gather feedback (giving envelopes, social media channels, survey) 
  • Evaluate use of digital/social channels like Instagram and LinkedIn for the alum board to gather feedback and share progress 
  • Find ways to create greater visibility to current Alumnae Board members – backgrounds, capabilities and anticipated value to the Alum Community 
  • Develop a communications cadence for the full alum community 
  • Connect with other independent schools to see where we can partner and amplify impact of antiracism efforts 
         Note: For this document, we use both Alumnae and Alum
The Brearley School is a K-XII independent day school for girls in New York City. Empowering girls of adventurous intellect to think critically and creatively.
610 East 83rd Street
New York, NY 10028
(212) 744-8582 

590 East 83rd Street
New York, NY 10028
(212) 744-8582