Durham Academy's Diversity Mission Statement
Diversity enlivens, improves and enriches the intellectual and social environment of an academic community and encompasses all aspects of humanity including racial identity, sex, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, age and gender identity. We are committed to an ongoing process to increase the diversity of our community and to implement policies, programs and practices under which all members of our community feel welcomed, empowered, responsible and safe. Amidst our diversity we stand united in the pursuit of academic excellence and development of individual capabilities.
(Adopted by the Durham Academy Board of Trustees in 2004 and updated in 2008)
Past, present, and future
Throughout its history, Durham Academy has recognized that diversity enriches learning. Coed since its founding in 1933 and racially integrated before the public schools in Durham, the school nonetheless recognized in the 1980's and 1990's that its relative homogeneity was holding the school back from its fullest potential. For the last 15 years Durham Academy has committed itself at every level -- from the Boardroom to the classroom -- to the dual pursuit of excellence and diversity. A welcoming, diverse and interconnected community is essential to the success of our mission. In harmony with our central aim -- to prepare students to live moral, happy and productive lives -- Durham Academy is dedicated to providing students with the tools to meet the challenges and responsibilities of active citizenship in the diverse Triangle and global communities and to prepare our students to live and thrive in a diverse working world. It often surprises those unfamiliar with this campus, but Durham Academy has grown through and past its history as an isolated place of privilege. Today, we strive to achieve that diversity which has the potential to enrich everyone's education.
Durham Academy is a member of the Triangle Diversity Alliance, a consortium of area independent schools providing an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to affirm their identity, share perspectives, and cultivate leadership skills. Twenty-six DA students attended the Triangle Diversity Alliance conference in October 2012.
Here are some things to consider related to diversity at Durham Academy:
- In the application process, we give individualized consideration to each applicant’s entire application. Not only do we require that every applicant be academically qualified, we strive to achieve diversity through our admissions decisions.
- Although we have no quota or goal and give substantial weight to diversity factors other than race and ethnicity, our student of color population has grown from nine percent a dozen years ago to 29.3 percent today.
- Our financial aid budget has grown from $391,000 in 1996-97 to $1,730,000 for 2011-12.
- We have partnerships with the Hayti Heritage Center, El Centro Hispano, Durham Nativity School, Duke University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and other community agencies.
- We have a summer school collaboration with Durham Public Schools and other community agencies.
- Our curriculum focuses increasingly on breaking down stereotypes and encouraging invigorating classroom discussion on diversity, responsibility and community.
- Our entire 11th grade class and advisors take a Civil Rights Bus Tour, during which they visit landmarks and museums, meet with leaders of the movement, and explore the realities of race, history, and social justice in Atlanta, Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, and Memphis.
- Student U, a year-round, free, academic enrichment program for Durham public middle schoolers, is hosted at Durham Academy. The program is staffed by undergraduates from Duke, North Carolina Central University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Durham Academy, and is funded by the universities, Durham Public Schools, DA, and private foundations and individual.
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy As to Students: Durham Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Durham Academy does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.