Anti-Racism at RCDS
Anti-Racism Community Resources
Update from the Board of Trustees
Dear RCDS Community Members,
The trustees of Rye Country Day School are passionately committed to an inclusive and anti-racist culture and community at RCDS (see the Board’s letter from June 16th). We will accept nothing less. We recognize there is much work to do, and we are working with urgency to address immediate concerns as the first step toward ensuring long-term, sustainable success. We promise to provide the community with the necessary transparency. To that end, we would like to provide an update with respect to the Board’s efforts and the recently-formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The Board has so far focused on three primary areas:
1. Hiring a third party to conduct an independent review: The Board is in the process of selecting and engaging a third-party firm to conduct a thorough, fact-based independent review of the experiences reported. This third-party firm, once selected and hired, will work expeditiously to review the concerns raised. We will notify the community as progress is made.
2. Creating the charter for the Board’s DEI Committee: The DEI Committee will provide guidance and monitor the School’s efforts and progress in areas related to DEI. It is critical that we establish the appropriate governance structure to allow the Board to provide oversight of the administration’s efforts without creating duplication and/or confusion. To this end, a group of trustees has been consulting outside resources and organizations to ensure we adopt best practices from other institutions as we establish the necessary composition, scope, and function for the committee. This committee’s work will be in addition to the School’s implementation of the DEI Task Force Plan.
3. Retaining outside DEI experts to advise the Board: We assure you that we, like you, have a desire for speed. We also want to make sure we are deliberate in our actions and that we incorporate outside perspectives. The DEI Committee has begun speaking with a few well-regarded outside experts who can offer invaluable insight and perspective to the Board based on years of deep knowledge and experience, including with other schools and organizations.
Trustees are members of this community, and like you, we are deeply and intensely saddened by the experiences shared. For the 2020-21 school year, there are 30 trustees on the Board, including the Parents Association President and the President of the Alumni Association. The other 28 are current parents and alumni. 50% of the trustees are female and 43% are self-identified people of color. We pledge to provide support, accountability, and a path forward. We all have a lot of work ahead, and we are steadfast in our commitment to foster a unified school whose culture and education are inclusive and anti-racist.
We thank our community for engaging in this important dialogue. Your continued input, feedback, and participation are critical to our success. We welcome you to contact the Board’s DEI Committee directly with any comments or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The RCDS Board of Trustees