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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.

Durham Academy 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)

A Community Built on Belonging

Student Demographics 2020-21
  • 48% of Durham Academy's students identify as a member of the Black, Indigenous or Person of Color (BIPOC) community, putting DA in the top third among peer independent schools for diversity.
  • 22% of DA teachers are faculty of color.
  • DA has increased student diversity by 24% over the last decade.
  • DA awarded more than $4.7 million in financial aid for the 2023–2024 school year
  • The school's financial aid budget has more than quadrupled in size over the past 20 years.
  • 18% of DA students receive financial aid.
  • Need-based financial aid awards range from $500 to nearly a full year's tuition and do not have to be repaid. The average award in 2023–2024 was $17,337.

Diversity, Equity & Engagement Team

Jason Mundy

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Jazmin Garcia Smith

Upper School DEE Coordinator
Senior Dean of College Counseling

Dan Gilson

Lower School DEE Coordinator
Director of Extended Day

Dr. Uma Mahajan

Upper School DEE Coordinator
Upper School Science Teacher

Pamela McKenney

Lower School DEE Coordinator
Lower School Art Teacher

Dr. Cindy Moore

Middle School DEE Coordinator
Middle School Learning Specialist

Sloan Nuernberger

Preschool DEE Coordinator
Kindergarten Teacher

Dr. Michelle Rosen

DEE Curriculum Consultant
Preschool/Lower School Librarian

Kristin Stroupe

Lower School DEE Coordinator
Preschool/Lower School PE Teacher

Kelly Teagarden

Upper School DEE Coordinator
Upper School Humanities Teacher

Zakia VanHoose

Middle School DEE Coordinator
Assistant Director of Extended Day

Bonnie Wang

DEE Curriculum Consultant
Upper School Mandarin Chinese Teacher

DEE News @ DA

Upper School Students Champion Belonging, Love in 'This I Believe' Speeches
On Jan. 26, five Durham Academy Upper School students and one staff member delivered This I Believe speeches in Kenan Auditorium as part of an annual assembly to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The speeches — inspired by radio essays from the CBS program This I Believe, which aired in the 1950s — adhere to simple yet powerful criteria. Tell a story about yourself, name one core belief, be personal and be vulnerable.
Navigating Identity: A Journey of Empowerment and Advocacy

Last week, a group of Durham Academy faculty, staff and students traveled to St. Louis to join other independent schools at two of this year’s NAIS Conferences: 13 faculty and staff participated in the People of Color Conference (PoCC), and six Upper School students attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC). For Bonnie Wang, attending the PoCC was a continuation of her unceasing work toward helping her students along their journey of self-realization.