Charter for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force (the DEI TF) was formed to assist and guide the Academy in becoming a fully inclusive, just and equitable learning community in which all members are treated with equal dignity and respect, and to serve the principles outlined in the Academy Mission Statement and the DEI Vision Statement. The DEI TF will conduct this work within a framework that seeks to understand and navigate the various nuances of intersectionality in service of the following key goals: (1) growing our understanding of history and diverse experiences and perspectives, (2) transforming systems as necessary to serve our stated values, and (3) cultivating a greater sense of community. 

In response to the urgent need for action that has been expressed by multiple cohorts from across the Exeter community in the wake of increasing frequency of anti-Black violence and other incidents of racial bias and injustice experienced by Black, Indigenous, LatinX, Asian and other People of Color (BIPOC), as well as reports of racial bias and injustice on campus, the DEI TF’s initial priority is to support and provide oversight of the Academy’s efforts to address racial bias, injustice and inequity in our community. 

To this end, the DEI TF will work with Academy leadership to focus on the following priorities for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond: 

  1. growing understanding – acknowledging and building a comprehensive understanding of our own history, as it intertwines with the institution and legacies of slavery, racism and inequality in our country, and how that history manifests in the experiences of BIPOC students and adults on campus;
  2. transforming systems – supporting BIPOC students and adults by ensuring the cultivation of an inclusive, equitable community through (a) a comprehensive assessment and, where necessary, revision of current policies, practices and systems; and (b) the building of lasting infrastructure and investment that transforms campus culture to reflect anti-racist principles; and
  3. cultivating community – guiding the development and launch of teaching and learning initiatives, professional development opportunities, research projects, educational exhibitions and events, and permanent recognition and commemoration, all to foster and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion to the fullest extent.

The DEI TF will lead and support ongoing efforts to identify and prioritize short-, medium- and long-range actions to be taken by the Trustees, the principal and senior administration including the director of DEI, the faculty and Human Resources (respectively, the DEI Contributors). Central and critical to this work will be a strict adherence to the principles of restorative justice: a) repairing harm; b) strengthening relationships and understanding through empathy; and c) rebuilding trust. 

In order to fulfill this mission, the DEI TF work shall include: 

  • Meeting two times in preparation for each trustee meeting, or more frequently as needed, to collaborate with DEI Contributors on DEI initiative and budgetary planning; 
  • Establishing performance metrics and monitoring progress on DEI initiatives through regular reporting from the Principal, the Director of DEI, and other DEI Contributors, with the following major areas of immediate focus: 
    • Support of BIPOC students, including a focus on building anti-racism practices in academics, dormitory life, extracurricular activities, assessment and discipline, and college counseling 
    • Working with the dean of faculty, the director of HR and the principal to support addressing hiring and retention issues for Faculty of Color (FOC), with particular attention to issues of recognition of workload, on-campus housing, support for FOC families in the local community, professional development, and compensation, and with an urgent focus on Black classroom faculty 
    • Hiring and onboarding of key additional administrative roles (including assistant dean of faculty and assistant director of DEI) to support DEI initiatives 
    • Continuing local community outreach and engagement on DEI issues 
    • Development and implementation of DEI and anti-racist training, curriculum and programing for all key stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, trustees and community members 
    • Development and implementation of reporting protocols for incidents of racial bias on campus, with emphasis on transparency and restorative justice; 
  • DEI TF members facilitating coordination with, and consideration of DEI priorities into, the work of the other trustee committees on which they serve; 
  • Examining the role that traditional approaches to policies, processes and governance at the Academy may contribute to, and may inhibit the ability to effectively address, issues of racial bias and inequality on campus; and formulating remedial recommendations to the trustees to address this; 
  • Working with the DEI contributors to respond to incidents of racial bias or unrest on campus; 
  • Working with the Communications team to guide and initiate regular communications to the Exeter community, and to respond to communications therefrom, concerning DEI issues and progress on DEI initiatives; and 
  • Reporting to the trustees on the status of DEI initiatives and other DEI issues. 

2020-2021 DEI Task Force Members 

Jackie Hayes, Chair and Trustee

Ciatta Baysah, Associate Member

Stephanie Bramlett, Director, DEI

Wole Coaxum, Trustee

Mark Edwards, Trustee

Betsy Fleming, Trustee

Cia Marakovits, Trustee 

Bill Rawson, Principal 

Sanjay Shetty, Trustee 

Morgan Sze, President of the Trustees