The Paideia School
Board of Trustee Actions on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Paideia
John Wrede

June 23, 2020

Dear Members of the Paideia Community,

We write on behalf of the Paideia Board of Trustees.  Last Monday, courageous young people opened a BlackatPaideia Instagram account to give black students a platform to share their experiences and to advocate for change.  Many current and former Paideia students have voiced deeply painful experiences of racism within our community.  Many of you have contacted us to share your reactions to what these posts have highlighted. We all agree that providing a safe and nurturing environment for Paideia students is our highest priority.

We as a board acknowledge this pain and anguish, and we apologize for our role in it.  We have listened carefully during this last week, and we understand that these very personal stories are not new or isolated experiences.  We understand that they come from years of systemic and institutionalized racism in our society and in our very own Paideia community.  We understand that we need to continue to listen and to hear.  We understand that listening is the first step and that listening must lead to learning and to action.  We understand that effecting real change will be a process, and we are committed to sustained action to respect one another and to bring our community together.

The board met last night for the final meeting of the current school year.  We agreed on the following initial board actions:

  • Hold a specially called board meeting in July to focus entirely on this issue.
  • Improve diversity on the board by ensuring that at least 50 percent of each new trustee class is comprised of trustees of color so that the percentage of trustees of color is at least as high or is higher than the percentage of students of color.
  • Join the head of school and the administration in hiring a third-party evaluator to help us identify our mistakes and blind spots and help us outline the steps for achieving meaningful change and reconciliation.
  • Allocate funds to pay for hiring a third-party evaluator and for the additional initiatives that result from that external audit.
  • Create a permanent board Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that will include non-board members, using what we learn from our evaluative process to define and inform that committee's work.
  • Engage as a board in inclusiveness and anti-racist training.

As our community engages in these difficult and valuable conversations, the board vows to expand upon these initial actions.  These are among the first steps in the healing process.  We accept this opportunity to look deeply into ourselves, and we believe strongly that all of us who make up Paideia have the courage and the grace to achieve our shared goal of a truly inclusive learning community.  Again, we are here to listen, learn and act, and we look forward to continuing the conversation with the community.   

Melinda Cooper Holladay                            
Board Chair term ending June 30, 2020

Wayne Aaron
Board Chair term beginning July 1, 2020

June 23, 2020

Dear Members of the Paideia Community,

We write on behalf of the Paideia Board of Trustees.  Last Monday, courageous young people opened a BlackatPaideia Instagram account to give black students a platform to share their experiences and to advocate for change.  Many current and former Paideia students have voiced deeply painful experiences of racism within our community.  Many of you have contacted us to share your reactions to what these posts have highlighted. We all agree that providing a safe and nurturing environment for Paideia students is our highest priority.

We as a board acknowledge this pain and anguish, and we apologize for our role in it.  We have listened carefully during this last week, and we understand that these very personal stories are not new or isolated experiences.  We understand that they come from years of systemic and institutionalized racism in our society and in our very own Paideia community.  We understand that we need to continue to listen and to hear.  We understand that listening is the first step and that listening must lead to learning and to action.  We understand that effecting real change will be a process, and we are committed to sustained action to respect one another and to bring our community together.

The board met last night for the final meeting of the current school year.  We agreed on the following initial board actions:

  • Hold a specially called board meeting in July to focus entirely on this issue.
  • Improve diversity on the board by ensuring that at least 50 percent of each new trustee class is comprised of trustees of color so that the percentage of trustees of color is at least as high or is higher than the percentage of students of color.
  • Join the head of school and the administration in hiring a third-party evaluator to help us identify our mistakes and blind spots and help us outline the steps for achieving meaningful change and reconciliation.
  • Allocate funds to pay for hiring a third-party evaluator and for the additional initiatives that result from that external audit.
  • Create a permanent board Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that will include non-board members, using what we learn from our evaluative process to define and inform that committee's work.
  • Engage as a board in inclusiveness and anti-racist training.

As our community engages in these difficult and valuable conversations, the board vows to expand upon these initial actions.  These are among the first steps in the healing process.  We accept this opportunity to look deeply into ourselves, and we believe strongly that all of us who make up Paideia have the courage and the grace to achieve our shared goal of a truly inclusive learning community.  Again, we are here to listen, learn and act, and we look forward to continuing the conversation with the community.   

Melinda Cooper Holladay                            
Board Chair term ending June 30, 2020

Wayne Aaron
Board Chair term beginning July 1, 2020

  • DEI Response News