Dear Commonwealth community:
We are pleased to share with you the Commonwealth School Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It was written by trustees to articulate today’s reasons for Commonwealth’s commitment to creating and maintaining a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive school environment. These values have been a part of the school and its mission since its founding, but the trustees recognized the need for a statement that went beyond an appeal to our legacy. This is a living document, designed to give every member of the Commonwealth community—student, parent, alum, teacher, staff member, and trustee—a set of commitments they can refer to as we continue this work together.
The drafters took care to craft a statement clearly rooted in Commonwealth’s mission. We believe it will help us all make Commonwealth a better version of itself—and will help the school live up to the standards we have shared since its founding: an institution committed to educating young people from diverse backgrounds to become knowledgeable, thoughtful, and creative adults, capable of careful analysis, fruitful cooperation, responsible leadership, and deep commitment.
Like the school’s mission, this statement is intentionally broad. It is not—and should not be—a comprehensive plan for implementing DEI programs. It is a North Star, not a road map.
Drafted by the board with input from InCommon (our board-appointed DEI task force) and the three of us cosigned below, it is the product of six months of deliberations and informed by a year of dialogue and action.
We remain deeply grateful for the alumni/ae and current students—Mosammat Faria Afreen ’16, Iman Ali ’18, Gueinah Carlie Blaise ’16, Tristan Edwards ’18, Kimberly Hoang ’21, Alexis Domonique Mitchell ’16, Ryan Phan ’22, Alan Plotz ’21, and Tarang Saluja ’18—who sparked these efforts with their petition and activism a year ago.
We know the need is urgent, and there remains much to be done. This is not a journey with any final destination, but an ongoing effort that will respond to the changing needs and times. In the years ahead, this statement will guide not just our administration but all of our collective work.
You can view the statement here and on the Equity and Inclusion page of our website. We welcome any comments or questions you may have: your responses will help shape the course ahead. For all of the time and thought that went into this piece, it is only a beginning. Progress will come from efforts large and small over time, from all of us.
Therese Hendricks P'05 '07, Board of Trustees Chair
Bill Wharton, Headmaster
Jennifer Borman ’81, Incoming Head of School