October 2, 2017 

Dear Steward Community, 

It has been a wonderful start to the new school year! We have enjoyed welcoming all of our Spartans to campus and very much appreciate the unique differences that each individual brings to our community. Steward’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is central to our mission and is a key component in the success of all that we do.

At Convocation, the school leadership introduced storytelling as our theme for the year. We were reminded that our individual stories are shaped by the decisions we make every day about academics, extracurricular activities, athletic teams, friendships, and acts of kindness. Steward’s story is one in which students, faculty, coaches, parents, and alumni work together to foster a school climate that is welcoming and inclusive of all.

As we take time to pause and reflect upon our story, it is important for the Steward community to remember our mission and values. We’ve all been troubled by the recent events of bigotry, racism, and violence spanning the nation. These hateful displays stand in direct opposition to the values we hold dear at Steward.

We are grounded and guided by our mission and our values of respect, responsibility, empathy, and cultural inclusivity. We are a caring community that embraces the diversity of our members, keeps our minds and hearts open to differences, and views each individual as a source of strength and means of growth for our school. Following Convocation, our students signed the Code of Honor and Responsibility, a pledge that not only reflects our values of honor and academic responsibility, but also that of social responsibility—to create an environment in which all individuals feel safe, secure, and respected. As a working and learning community, we are committed to modeling and teaching these values.

Several of our ongoing initiatives around diversity and inclusion include:

  • Partnership with Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC)
  • Leader School in the Virginia Diversity Network
  • Diversity & Inclusion Council and working committees: Student Development, Governance, Professional Development, and Community Outreach
  • Awareness, education, and skills training at faculty meetings (faculty and staff)
  • Summer Connections Leadership Institute (students)
  • Diversity Club (students)
  • Prejudice Awareness Summit (middle school students)
  • NAIS People of Color Conference (faculty/staff) and Student Diversity Leadership Conference (students)
  • Diversity and inclusion point people in each division
  • Library shelf dedicated to diversity and inclusion resources

We invite you to play a part in the story of an inclusive, equitable, and just community. One way to do this is to have conversations with your children at home about these important topics, like we are doing at school. VCIC offers some valuable guidance and suggestions here. In addition, learn more about diversity and inclusion at Steward here.

We hope you are as happy and proud to be a part of the Steward community as we are to have you as members. 

Warmly,

Beth Curry and Shawn Morrison
Diversity and Inclusion Council Chairs
www.stewardschool.org/diversity
www.stewardschool.org
The Steward School | 11600 Gayton Road | Richmond, VA 23238 | 804-740-3394
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