Diversity, Equity & Engagement

Throughout its history, Durham Academy has recognized that diversity enriches learning. Co-ed since its founding in 1933 and one of the first schools to integrate in Durham, DA has committed itself at every level — from the boardroom to the classroom — to the dual pursuit of excellence and diversity.

Our welcoming, dynamic and interconnected community provides students with the support to prepare them to live and thrive in a diverse world. Learn about Durham Academy's early days as a leader in integrity and inclusion through the reflections of DA alumna Valerie Kennedy Miller '81.


Diversity, Equity & Engagement at Durham Academy

  • 40% of Durham Academy's students are students of color, putting DA in the top third among peer independent schools for diversity.
  • 17% of DA teachers are faculty of color.
  • DA has increased student diversity by 22% over the last decade.
  • DA awarded more than $4.7 million in financial aid for the 2020–2021 school year.
  • The school's financial aid budget has more than quadrupled in size over the past 20 years.
  • 22% of DA students receive financial aid.
  • Need-based financial aid awards range from $1,000 to nearly a full year's tuition and do not have to be repaid. The average award in 2020–2021 was $17,167.
  • The Sheppy Vann Preschool Scholarship Fund and the Beth Crawford Lower School Scholarship Fund are need-based scholarship funds, making the Preschool and Lower School accessible to a wide range of families.


Student Demographics 2020-21

Diversity, Equity & Engagement Team

Kemi Nonez

Kemi Nonez
Director of Diversity, Equity and Engagement
Associate Director of Enrollment Management 
919-489-6569 (x6111)

Durham Academy's Diversity, Equity & Engagement 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)