The Study on Belonging
In January 2022, Gordon is beginning a Study on Belonging, an assessment of Gordon’s diversity, inclusion and equity work.
The goal of this study, and the studies the school has undergone in the past, has been to learn to what extent we are meeting our mission to be a racially and culturally diverse school that is inclusive and accessible to all. The work involves a deep dive into the experiences of different groups in the community—students, families, faculty, staff and leadership—and will help inform the next steps in the school's growth and evolution.
The voices of parents are crucial in this work, and we would like to invite you to participate.
The first step is a series of facilitated conversations that are happening in January and February. Registration is now open for the first set of these conversations, which will begin Wednesday on Zoom .
Some meetings are open to all families, others are organized around existing parent affinity groups.
Open to all families
Affinity group discussions
Anyone who self-identifies as a member of an affinity group is welcome (even if they do not attend that group's monthly meetings).
The study will be run by psychologist and educator Dr. Keith Hinderlie in partnership with Christine Savini of Diversity Directions. Their full biographies are below, and both of them have established connections with Gordon.
Last year, Dr. Hinderlie led a comprehensive study of the experience of Middle School boys at color at Gordon, which led to several recommendations that the school implemented immediately, including Brother to Brother, a new affinity group for Middle School boys of color led by Technology Director Marlon Henry, that builds on the success of the long-running Common Ground program.
As a longtime leader in independent school diversity work, Christine Savini has worked with dozens of Gordon teachers and administrators over the years. Her long-running Independent School Diversity Seminar has been crucial to the professional growth of many of Gordon's professionals, and she consulted on the development of Gordon's own Multicultural Institute for Middle School Teachers, a summer program that ran during the early 2000s.
Christine Savini, Founder and Principal Consultant of Diversity Directions, has been a leader in independent school diversity efforts for over 25 years. Christine holds a M.A. in American Racial and Ethnic Studies, and for 17 years served as Director of Diversity Planning at Milton Academy (MA). While at Milton Christine sought and received a $400,000 Wallace Foundation Grant to develop equity and inclusion programming at the Academy,and chaired a strategic planning process for the recruitment and retention of faculty of color at the school.
Christine is also the Founder and Director of The Independent School Diversity Seminar, hosted by an NAIS school, outside of Boston each July (virtual in 2021). Also, she has served on several NAIS Multicultural Assessment Teams, and was a founding member and on the advisory board of Seeking Educators of Color (SEEC). Christine is the author of the article Unconscious Bias and How It Affects the Hiring Process, which appears in the NAIS book The Inclusive School: A Selection of Writing on Diversity Issues inIndependent Schools. She is also a contributor to the AISNE Guide to Hiring and Retaining Teachers of Color, the NAIS Middle School Handbook and the AISNE publication How White Educators and Educators of Color Can Make Diversity Work.
Dr. Keith Hinderlie
Keith Hinderlie, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and educator with over 20 years of experience working with adults, youth and families in a variety of settings. His professional background includes a unique combination of knowledge about psychology, personal development, education, leadership, and cultural diversity.
Dr. Hinderlie has presented workshops across the country on diversity, inclusion, multicultural competence, and the social/emotional experiences of children. He has extensive experience working with African American and Multiracial youth.
Dr. Hinderlie served as Director of Programs for the SEED Foundation and helped develop a public boarding school model that is at the core of SEED Schools of Maryland, Miami and Washington, DC. Most recently, Dr. Hinderlie was the inaugural Director of Equity and Inclusion at Choate Rosemary Hall. In this role, Dr. Hinderlie implemented a best practice program model that has established Choate as a leader in inclusive programming.