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. 


The Brearley School condemns racism and any other form of bias and bigotry in the strongest possible terms and is committed to building a community that is both antibiased and antiracist. 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 antibias/antiracist engagements and identifying and eliminating policies, practices and beliefs that uphold racism, or any form of bias and bigotry, in our community.


Statement on Gender Diversity

Founded in 1884 to provide girls with an excellent liberal arts education previously available only to boys, Brearley challenges girls of adventurous intellect and diverse backgrounds to think critically and creatively, and prepares them for principled engagement in the world. The School takes seriously its role as a leader in K-XII education and embraces that position in all its deliberations and programming.
We recognize that the changing gender landscape poses questions faced by all girls’ schools. Brearley reaffirms its mission as a leader in girls’ education, and going forward will consider all applicants who identify as girls. In the instance that a current Brearley student no longer identifies as a girl, the School is committed to supporting the child and the family as appropriate to navigate the challenges inherent in being a transgender student in a girls’ school. We expect all students who choose Brearley and continue their education at the School will be supportive of the School’s history, mission and advocacy for girls’ education and women’s advancement. While the institutional language of the School is necessarily gendered as we refer to our students as “girls” or “young women,” we will make every effort to honor the student’s choice of name and pronoun in our personal communications to, with and about the individual student. When a student shares a questioning of gender or a shift in gender identity, the School will gather the appropriate support team to work in concert with the student and family. Recognizing that the developmental and educational needs of each individual may change over time, the School will continue to partner with the child and family throughout the student’s education at Brearley, and especially as the student nears a change in division, to determine if a girls’ school environment will continue to provide the best educational experience.
This statement was developed after several years of conversations and deliberation by the Trustees, administration, Student Life Committee and faculty and staff, in consultation with experts and organizations in the field. We will continue to stay current on the national conversation on gender diversity and best school practices and continue to seek expert guidance. Brearley will monitor the implementation of this statement to ensure it best serves the School and individual students and families. (Adopted 6/18/2018)


List of 4 items.

  • Creation of DEIA Committee

    To provide board-level oversight, support and accountability, the Board of Trustees has created a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism Committee. (Completed)
  • Creation of ARAGs

    Antiracist advisory groups for students, parents, alumnae, and faculty and staff have been established to ensure open communication. These groups meet in advance of DEIA Board Committee meetings and each has a representative that sits on  the board committee. (Completed)
  • DEIA Strategic Plan

    The DEIA Committee will oversee a strategic plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism. (In progress)
  • DEIA & Alumni Board

    The Alumnae Board has developed and ratified its own antiracism priorities to strengthen and expand racial equity work and commit to sustained change where needed. (Completed)


List of 5 items.

  • General Curriculum

    Aligned with the external  curriculum review of Opening Doors, Brearley’s Strategic Vision, departments are engaged or will engage in developing an inclusive curriculum and culturally competent pedagogy with the support of outside consultants. (In progress)
  • English & History Curriculum

    New curriculum is being introduced in Lower School as well as in Class V and English and History Departments in Classes VI–XII.  (In progress)
  • Phys Ed & Drama

    Physical Education and Drama Departments also are working with external consultants on new programs. (In progress)
  • Affinity Spaces

    In recognition of the essential value of race- and ethnicity-based affinity space, the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Dean of Students are working to support the creation, organization and funding of programming for new and existing affinity spaces. (Completed)
  • Collaboration with Students

    Collaboration with Black Students Demanding Change continues, including BSDC representation on Self-Government and a panel  presentation at the upcoming NCGS conference. (In progress)


List of 5 items.

  • Students, Faculty & Staff

    Students, faculty and staff are participating in training and education sessions on topics such as antiracism and cultivating community  throughout the year. (In progress)
  • Faculty & Staff

    Faculty and staff are also being trained in emotional responsiveness. (In progress)
  • Parents & Trustees

    Trustees and parents have completed the first session of mandatory antiracism and anti-bias training. (Completed)
  • Racial Literacy for Students

    A racial literacy and antiracism curriculum for K–XII (which already has been implemented in some grades) to guide students in the acquisition of cultural competence is underway. (In progress)
  • Alumnae Board

    Antiracist training will be offered to the Alumnae Board. (Completed)


List of 6 items.

  • Letters to Community

    Board and Head of School letters were sent over the summer to inform the community of the School’s commitment to antiracism and preliminary action steps. (Completed)
  • Antiracism Statement

    Antiracism Statement is included in Brearley’s Statement of Beliefs, which is also featured  in school and admission materials. (Completed)
  • Social Media

    School Instagram highlights ongoing antiracism work. (Ongoing)
  • Alumnae Board

    The Alumnae Board met several times and hosted two town hall meetings with school leadership to discuss the School’s response to creating an antiracist community. (Completed)
  • Family Meeting

    A K–XII family meeting hosted by school leadership explained antiracism commitment and progress on initial action steps. Faculty presented changes to the curriculum and pedagogy for 2020–2021  school year. (Completed)
  • Publications

    Annual Giving Review and fall Bulletin provide updates on antiracism action steps. (Ongoing)


List of 4 items.

  • Hiring Director of Equity & Community Engagement

    Hired an Associate Director of Equity and Community Engagement and appointed a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism Coordinator to each division. (Completed)
  • Hiring Counselor

    Hire a K–XII school counselor with experience working with BIPOC  
    students in the Counseling and Wellness Department.  (Completed)
  • Revise Hiring Practices

    School administrators and department heads are participating in workshops with a national diversity hiring consultancy to identify and address aspects of our current hiring, onboarding and mentoring processes that support and impede the hiring and retention of talented teachers and administrators of color. The goal is to have new systems in place to support the hiring of teachers and staff of color by the hiring season. (Completed)
  • Revised Evaluations

    A revised evaluation process will consider the commitment of faculty, staff and administrators to understanding and furthering the School’s goal to become a diverse, inclusive, antiracist community across socioeconomic levels and where all members feel valued and respected. (In progress)


List of 8 items.

  • Codes of Conduct

    To increase transparency of institutional response to incidents of racism, the administration created age-appropriate discipline  systems and Codes of Conduct for each division. (Completed)
  • Policy Against Racism, Bias & Bigotry

    The School also created a Policy Against Racism, Bias and Bigotry for all students, faculty and staff, which also standardizes and makes transparent institutional response. (Completed)
  • Student Training

    Multiple training sessions have taken place to introduce these new policies and practices to students and the reasons for their creation.  (Completed & ongoing)
  • Faculty & Staff Training

    Faculty and staff too were trained in these new policies and practices during the opening of school.  (Completed)
  • Discipline Committee

    Members of the discipline committees have been meeting to discuss case studies and issues of bias. (Completed)
  • Third-Party Complaint System

    A third-party complaint system will be implemented this year. (Completed)
  • Mental Health Funding

    Funding for mental health support has been provided to alumnae who requested it. (In progress)
  • Exploring Models for Justice

    Administrators will explore models for restorative justice. (In progress)


List of 7 items.

  • Equity Audit

    Conduct equity audit to identify areas for improvement and measure success of initiatives. (Completed)
  • Parent Focus Groups

    EnGenderED Research Collaborative is conducting parent focus groups by division and race and will soon begin meetings with Middle School and Upper School students. An anonymous survey is available as well. (Completed)
  • Faculty, Staff and Alumnae Focus Groups

    Faculty, staff and alumnae will also participate in focus groups in coming months. (Completed)
  • Community-wide Survey

    All members of the community will have the opportunity to complete  a survey, which asks the same questions posed in focus groups. (Completed) 
  • Climate Survey

    A climate survey will be  developed based on information gathered and will inform the equity audit. (Not yet started)
  • Community Briefing

    A summary of the equity audit will be shared with the community. (In progress)
  • Revise Mission Statement

    Findings of the equity audit to inform strategic plan or Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism and the review of mission statement. (In progress)

DEIA Staff

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Coy Dailey

    Coy "Coy" Dailey 

    The Brearley School
    Director, Office of Equity and Community Engagement
  • Photo of Ashley Finigan-James

    Ashley "Ashley" Finigan-James 

    The Brearley School
    Assistant Director, Office of Equity and Community Engagement
  • Photo of Valerie Samuels

    Valerie "Valerie" Samuels 

    Assistant to the Dean of Students and Director of Equity and Community Engagement
    (212) 570-8552
  • Photo of Joy Piedmont

    Joy "Joy" Piedmont 

    The Brearley School
    Librarian, US DEIA Coordinator
  • Photo of Erica Muñoz-Gonzalez

    Ms. Erica "Erica" Muñoz-Gonzalez 

    Cross-Divisional Counselor
    University of Cincinnati - B.S.W.
    Fordham University - M.S.W.
  • Photo of Ann Saunders

    Dr Ann "Ann" Saunders 

    The Brearley School
    Science; Advisor; MS DEIA Coordinator
    Brown University - PhD
    Yale University - B.S.
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