A Message from the Principal
Growing with our Community
At Havergal College, we believe that to equip students to make an impact in the world, we must foster a culture in which all people are respected and valued for their unique identity. We want to create a space where they are able to use their strengths and are actively encouraged to bring their “whole selves” to school. Over the last 18 months, we have been listening to students, employees, alumni and parents about their experiences at Havergal. They told us that their hope is to build a culture where there is space for multiple perspectives and that challenges the structures and systems within our school that have traditionally excluded people or made them feel they needed to conform to be included. We believe it’s important that we undertake this work together as a community.
Looking forward, we are committed to creating a more inclusive environment where different ideas, backgrounds and experiences inform our learning journey, and one in which our shared commitment to ongoing knowledge-seeking, compassion and accountability guides our growth. We acknowledge that we have a lot of listening, learning and unlearning to do as we build a plan for creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable school.
At Havergal, we want to ensure every student has the opportunity to thrive. To create a space where this is possible, inclusion will be at the core of our work in the coming months. Ensuring varied identities are both included and represented in all facets of our institution will be integral to cultivating a place where every student can be their best.
We aspire to build a more diverse student and employee population that reflects both our local and global communities. This will also play an important role in making global citizens of our graduates. As a learning organization, we believe that excellence in academics includes the critical analysis of global and current events, requiring curriculum and pedagogy to be reviewed and refreshed regularly. Importantly, we also recognize that as an organization, we need to implement practices and processes that support the inclusion of anyone regardless of their gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age or disability status.
Our work in developing a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion at Havergal is in its early stages, but is underway and ongoing. Building this plan, doing this learning and listening to the individual and collective stories is a collaborative effort that requires all of us to engage with an open heart and mind. We will be reporting back regularly about the work that our students, employees, alumni, parents and Board members are doing to help inform and create this change. Together, we can build a Havergal community that is stronger, more diverse, more equitable and more inclusive.
Dr. Katrina Samson,
Student Forums: Affinity Groups, Open Alliances & Brave Spaces
Havergal has several Affinity Groups, Open Alliances, and Brave Spaces for Upper School students. Together, these spaces encourage learning and dialogue around identity, authentic allyship, DEI issues and topics and help to foster a school community of inclusion where student identities are affirmed and supported in their development. All of these groups run every two weeks during lunch.
What are Affinity Groups?
Affinity Groups are spaces that allow students who share a common identity or an aspect of their identity—usually one that is marginalized or non-dominant—to gather and talk in a safe space about issues and experiences related to that identity.
What are Open Alliances?
Alliance means “the state of being allied.” Open Alliances are spaces where people who share a common commitment to those who hold marginalized identities and the issues that impact them, can gather to learn, engage in dialogue and mobilize action towards addressing these issues in their school community. They are open to everyone.
What are Brave Spaces?
Brave Spaces are educational opportunities or events that encourage dialogue and learning. They recognize difference and intersectionality, and hold each person present accountable to do the work of listening, sharing experiences and coming to new understandings together.
Affinity Groups, Open Alliances & Brave Spaces for 2021-22
- Black Students Affinity Group (BSA)
- Asian Students Affinity Group (ASA)
- BIPOC Students Affinity Group (BIPOC)
- Muslim Students Affinity Group (MSA)
- Jewish Students Affinity Group (JSA)
- Diversity Committee (DC)
- Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
For any questions about these Student Forums, contact Raagini Appadurai, Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, at [email protected].