About
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Community Commitments & Initiatives

Student Commitments & Initiatives

Curriculum

Through its comprehensive curriculum, St. Albans exposes students to a wide range of intellectually stimulating experiences. The school regularly evaluates its curriculum with regard to diversity.

Instruction has included, often in conjunction with the National Cathedral School:
  1. Courses incorporating African, African American, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Caribbean, Jewish-American, Asian, and East Indian literature;
  2. Courses in French, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and Chinese language;
  3. Courses covering Asian, Middle Eastern, and African history;
  4. Courses in world religion;
  5. Visual and performing arts programs reflecting varied cultures and traditions; and
  6. International exchange programs.

List of 2 items.

  • Summer Reading & Conversation

    Students in Forms I-VI read Coates’s book as well. Forms I and II held discussions on the book during advisory, participated in Town Hall discussions, and continued engagement on the topics in their Form I and II history classes. The Upper School began discussions of Coates’s book with an assembly and advisory discussions and will continue to engage the book through advisory discussions and within English classes.
  • DEI Curricular Audit

    We recently began a comprehensive audit of our formal curriculum and will have more to share on the results of this important work. As the beginning of an ongoing effort to infuse our curriculum and student experience with greater cultural competency in diversity, equity, and inclusion, Kristin Elliott, as director of DEI, hosted workshops with each Form in the Lower School.

    We are also examining our “tacit” curriculum—“the messages we send, the perspectives we privilege, and the experiences we marginalize by the traditions, stories, and images of the school—so that those elements reflect the most inclusive and textured version of our history, while also capturing the full sweep of our future aspirations.” To this end, we have been discussing a range of projects and initiatives which we look forward to sharing more about in the near future.

Skip Grant Program

For more than 50 years, St. Albans has offered the Skip Grant Program, which provides support and guidance for students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. The program works with the Admissions Office to identify talented young men from different walks of life. The program provides counseling, tutoring, monitoring, and financial assistance to approximately 25 students annually, including African American, Latino/x, Asian, multi-racial, international students, and those from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Former Director Malcolm Lester said, “St. Albans is a better, more complete school for having these young men in its community. Yes, the students benefit from being at St. Albans, but the school also benefits from them.”

Affinity Groups & Alliances

We have now established student affinity and alliance groups in the Upper School and have launched affinity groups and alliances in the Lower School, beginning with Forms I and II. Some of the initiatives emerging from our student affinity groups include two assemblies hosted by our Black affinity group (one in the fall and one for Black History month in February) and an assembly hosted by our Latino/x affinity group in connection with Hispanic Heritage Month. The affinity and alliance groups available for students include:
  • Alliance of White Anti-racists (LS/US)
  • Asian, Asian American & Pacific Islander (LS/US)
  • Black & African Heritage (LS/US)
  • Cultural Awareness Organization (CAO) (LS/US)
  • Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) (LS/US)
  • Indian (LS)
  • Jewish (LS/US)
  • Multiracial (LS/US)
  • Latino/x (US)
  • LGBTQ (US)
  • Middle Eastern & Muslim (students can identify as either or both) (US)
  • Transracial Adoption (LS)

MLK Day 2021

Brandon Victor Dixon ’99

“I Have a Dream”

Assemblies, Chapels & Programs

In the Lower School, we have in recent years commemorated important days and traditions that reflect the diversity of our community, such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Passover; Ramadan; Nowruz; and an Indigenous People’s Chapel. We will reaffirm and deepen this commitment in the Lower School and will create similar opportunities for our Upper School students. We will also hold assemblies commemorating important inflection points in the struggle for civil rights, such as the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. Our Black Student Affinity Group and Latino/x Student Affinity Group will also host assemblies throughout the year.

  • All-School Dr. King Day of Service & Reflection Teach-Ins
  • Community reading of Between the World and Me with Assembly & Advisory Programs for Forms I-VI
  • Lower School Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Indigenous People’s Chapel
  • Lower School Hanukkah, Dawali, and Radmadan Chapels
  • Upper School Assemblies celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, Middle Eastern Heritage, the Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA), as well as a Pre-election Disussion with Josh Bolten
  • Upper School Black Alumni Panel Assembly featuring Tommy Walker ’81, Tom Duckenfield ’82, OJ Johnson ’97, George Haywood ’69, Areohn Harrison ’16, Khalil Thompson ’00, and Anwar McQueen ’93
  • Upper School Black History Month and Women’s History Month Chapels
Additionally, alumni have enriched the school’s consideration of topics pertaining to diversity. Among those who have engaged St. Albans students directly or contributed statements for the St. Albans family on topics concerning diversity most recently are actor and activist Brandon Victor Dixon ’99; author Uzo Iweala ’00; Black Lives Matter(ed) collaborators Tom Duckenfield ’82 and Garrett Lowe ’84; real estate developer Marcus Goodwin ’07; The Honorable Jeb Boasberg ’81; and Yale History Professor Frank Snowden ’64.

School Policies

We have committed to developing a new policy for inclusion in the Student Handbook that specifically addresses racial hate speech and misconduct; the school’s unequivocal condemnation of such behavior; how we will educate our students about these fundamental community expectations; and the process we will use for investigating and eradicating such behavior from our community.

One of the issues that has afflicted educational institutions in recent years is the mistaken belief that principles of intellectual freedom and respect for the feelings of others are somehow in conflict. At St. Albans, there is a genuine effort to see these principles as part of a larger unity, bound together by the conviction that love of knowledge and love for others are sacred obligations that rest on the same moral and spiritual foundation. At St. Albans, we aspire to live in the grace of these two forms of love.

As an academic community grounded in the liberal arts tradition, we believe that the free and vigorous exchange of ideas promotes the intellectual and personal growth of our students and prepares them for life in a complex, diverse society where citizens often disagree on matters of fundamental importance. As a moral community grounded in the spiritual principle that all humans are entitled to equal dignity and respect, we believe that discussion and disagreement must always take place within a context that affirms the humanity of every person in our school family.

We welcome speech that advances learning and enlarges our perspectives on complex issues. But there is no place in our school community for speech that demeans or marginalizes individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other category. “Freedom of speech” is not a sanctuary for those who weaponize language to hurt and intimidate others. For freedom of speech to serve its intended goals—of advancing learning, deepening understanding, and helping us thoughtfully navigate the disagreements that are inevitable in a complex democracy—it must rest on a foundation of mutual respect and trust. Freedom in this deeper sense is not a condition that spontaneously comes into being. It requires work. It is a collective achievement made possible by our commitment to educating young men in the thoughtful, discerning, and responsible use of freedom. Hate speech erodes the foundations of a true learning community. Only when all members of our school family feel a sense of value and belonging can meaningful discourse—and meaningful disagreement—occur.

We will soon be translating these principles into a formal written policy and look forward to sharing it with the community in the near future.
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.