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.
Diversity Conference Blog 2013
|A New Experience|
By Constanza de Radcliffe Upper School Spanish Teacher
|A Place for Me|
By Maritzelena Chirinos '14
I had an extraordinary experience at the SDLC (Student Diversity Leadership Conference). I'm so happy that I was chosen to go and be a part of such an amazing “family”. I have never felt so happy and comfortable in my life. One of my favorite parts about the SDLC was the Affinity Groups. At SDLC, we met with our Affinity groups 3 times. There was an Affinity Group for every race and ethnicity. I identify as Hispanic/Latino. My father was born in Venezuela and my mother was born in Colombia. I was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States at the age of 3. I grew up learning about 3 different cultures and 2 different languages. I've always been proud of my race. Before attending DA in 6th grade, I went to a public school where the majority of the students were African-American and Latino. I remember distinctly being in different classrooms with very few or no Caucasians. Attending DA was a bit of a shock for me and it took me a very long time to adjust. What bothered me the most was not being able to talk to anyone in Spanish? It wasn't until freshman year in High School that I was finally comfortable with who I am and accepting the fact that I was a minority.
|As Seen from my Lens|
By Faith Couch '15
“The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see,” said American author James Baldwin. The artist differs from all other professionals. Artists make society aware, so that people can assess the issues to see the reality of situations. Artists are the essential conscious of our society.
I am generally quiet but when I am passionate about something…I speak loud to make you hear me. A stereotype that I am constantly hearing is that all black girls are loud. I feel the need to be loud to make people stop what they are doing and listen. I am not just an exception to this stereotype; I am one person. I am not representative of my race. This understanding could be achieved if we all stepped out of our comfort zone to achieve another level of awareness. We must abide by one of the SDLC community norms “lean into discomfort”. Another one of the SDLC community norms that touched my soul was “Listen, Listen, Listen, and Process.” It is important that we all listen to each other. You may not agree with what someone is saying but it is our job to hear him or her out. We must listen and respect the diversity of opinions in the world.
By Naa Adom, US English Teacher & Diversity Coordinator
Community Events & Resources
|Duke Celebrates Durham: Where Great Things Happened in 1963|
In 1963 five black undergraduate students integrated Duke University. Two of the five, Nat White Jr. and the late Mary Mitchell Harris, graduated from Hillside High School. The community is invited to celebrate these trailblazers and the various leaders in Durham who broke segregated barriers to our theaters, lunch counters, ice cream parlors and education institutions. The celebration will include civil and human rights exhibits, inspirational music, a panel of distinguished leaders and a town hall discussion.
Open to the public
Noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5
Durham Performing Arts CenterFREE TICKETS
(max 8 tickets per student) to all students with ID; $5 for adults at DPAC Box Office (123 Vivian St., Durham) or by phone 919.680.2787. M-F: 10 – 5; Sat. 10 – 2. Or online
(note additional surcharges apply).
|A Lasting Impact: Supporting Asian and Asian-American Students|
When people ask me what I do at Phillips Academy (Massachusetts), I wish I could just say something simple like, “I teach math,” since it easily satisfies the curiosity of the questioner. Instead, I have to tell people that I serve in an administrative role as a dean and as the advisor to Asian and Asian-American students. This latter role often elicits a variety of follow-up questions. What does being the advisor to Asian and Asian-Americans students mean? Why does this position exist? Is it really necessary? Click here
to continue reading.
|The Myth of the Model Minority|
As a history teacher and advocate for Asian and American students, I am concerned about what appears to be waning interest in the study of multicultural education and racial politics. In particular, as our independent schools become more diverse, as our international Asian student populations continue to grow, and as we become increasingly invested in global education, independent school teachers need to be cautious about shifting away from more diverse surveys of American history in favor of more global perspectives. Click here
to continue reading.
|The Success of African American Students in Independent Schools|
OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS — at the request of concerned independent school educators, and with funding from independent schools and a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health — we've conducted extensive research1 on the experiences of African-American students
in independent schools. Click here
to continue reading.
Admissions Counselor & Director of Diversity, Multicultural Affairs
Year Appointed: 2009
North Carolina Central University - B.A.
Director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs
US English Teacher/Peer Education Teacher/US Diver
Year Appointed: 2012
Goucher College - B.A.
Hollins University - M.F.A.
Upper School Diversity Coordinator
Science and Cooking, Preschool
Year Appointed: 1982
Northern Illinois State Teachers College - B.A.
Preschool Diversity Coordinator
French, Middle School
Year Appointed: 1980
Appalachian State University - B.A.
Middle School Diversity Coordinator
J. Marianne Green
Spanish, Middle School
Year Appointed: 2007
Salem College - B.A.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - M.A.T.
North Carolina State University - M.P.A.
Middle School Diversity Coordinator
Teaching Assistant (Allan)/LS Extended Day
Year Appointed: 2005
Albright College - B.A.
Lower School Diversity Coordinator