Belonging: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
A diverse, equitable, and inclusive school is a better, stronger, and more vibrant school. We are committed to building a welcoming community within James River and teaching our students the social awareness and respect for others that leads to a culture of inclusivity. Each student, parent, faculty member, and staff person brings with them their own unique gifts, history, and personality. Bringing the richness of this community together in a network of belonging is the goal of our ongoing efforts towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
In the spring of 2021, a group of dedicated parents worked together to write a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) mission statement for the school, which was approved later that year by our Board of Trustees. The new DEI mission statement (shown below) was a response to one of the four pillars of the James River Strategic Plan that stated our intention to strengthen our community by creating a school culture valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The JRDS community is committed to ongoing evaluation and enhancement of our school culture, curriculum, and practices to foster an inclusive learning community enriched by and reflective of a diverse and global world.
James River strives to be a place where the variety of cultures and perspectives is honored and respected. We understand this is ongoing work--change, such as this, is not instant. Seeing different skin tones, hearing different accents, and learning from others whose worldviews and experiences are different--these things encourage each of us to see beyond ourselves and to find commonality with one another. A vibrantly diverse school community will help nurture all within our community. Each person will become better, kinder, and more respectful because our shared experience becomes broader. Within our community we will teach one another to offer support such that each community member feels empowered to speak and share, knowing they will be heard.
We guide our decision-making at James River by asking, “What’s best for the child?” We know moving forward with a plan to be more diverse, more inclusive, and insistent on equity for all--that is what’s best for the children--all the children. We encourage all to join us on this journey.