Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are core values of Middlesex. To that end, we are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We honor the ideal, articulated by Fredrick Winsor, our school founder, of “finding the promise” in every student, and we work together in an atmosphere of mutual trust and shared responsibility to help students bring their talents to fruition. As a community, we respect the individual interests, strengths, and needs of each student. We also value the rich diversity of belief and experience each of us brings to the School. As such, we commit to live and learn in a diverse community built on mutual respect, physical and emotional safety, equity, inclusivity, and belonging.
Orientation – REP Performance
REP, which originally stands for the Racial Equity Project, has been a signature orientation program for new students and faculty since 2021. With the guidance from professional theater artists and DEI practitioners, a group of selected student leaders collaborate with each other during the summer to devise their own scenes to address DEI issues that students commonly experience at MX. Through their performance, they want to emphasize the importance of creating an upstander culture and building a community where everyone feels accepted, appreciated, and celebrated.
Affinity groups at Middlesex are student-led and student-centered spaces where everyone shares a particular identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. Affinity groups provide students, especially those with marginalized and minoritized identities, with a safe and brave space to connect with each other, share about their experiences, and advocate for their collective needs. These groups play a vital role in ensuring an inclusive environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed. Here is the list of affinity groups at Middlesex:
- AZN (Pan-Asian students)
- Buddhist Student Affinity Group
- BSU (Black Student Union)
- ISA (International Student Association)
- JSU (Jewish Student Union)
- LGBTQ+ Affinity Group
- SAAG (South Asian Affinity Group)
- SOL (Society of Latinx)
- YWOC (Young Women of Color)
Equity and Inclusion Officers
The senior Equity and Inclusion Officers are key contributors helping to foster an inclusive and welcoming community for all members of the School. From their very first day on campus in the fall, these leaders begin facilitating DEI programs during senior leadership training and new student orientation. Throughout the year, they help with creating DEI programs, selecting
DEI Throughout the Middlesex Experience
Throughout the course of the year, there is robust and meaningful curricular and co-curricular programming in DEI: orientation (community lunches, MLK Day, Community Life Symposium, affinity groups, and clubs. Students also have the opportunity to engage in collaborative meetings with other schools and in programs run by outside organizations.
The initiatives contained within the diversity, equity, and inclusion programs are not add-ons to the Middlesex community, but instead they are integral aspects of the school community. Combined, these programs aim to develop within our students a lifelong empathy, a willingness to listen and learn from others, an eagerness to engage, and the confidence to speak up and out to assist themselves and those around them.
Board of Trustees and Head of School Joint Commitments for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
We are a Board of 34 individuals who care deeply about Middlesex. Together, we are uniform in our belief that the breadth of personal identities within Middlesex is a key element that makes the school a special, vibrant place of learning and growth. The Board recognizes that there is still work to do between our foundational ideals and the actual lived experience of many Black, Hispanic, Asian American Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, Jewish, Islamic, international, and disabled students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
As an educational institution, we believe an open exchange of viewpoints is vital to student development and intellectual excellence. We believe that respectful debate and disagreement are not only healthy, but the very ground upon which a learning community thrives. We realize that, at times, that discourse may become uncomfortable.
There is no ground, however, for any behavior, policy, or social climate that elevates some individuals over others based on race, class, religion, gender, or identity. It is antithetical to our Mission and our desire to develop an inclusive community.
The Board recognizes the need for increased accountability when an individual’s personal identity is used against them. The use of power in support of harm is deeply concerning and fundamentally unacceptable at Middlesex.
We will work with faculty, staff, and administration to take the following steps to allow the unimpaired pursuit of individual promise, as well as the promise of a truly inclusive community.
The Board of Trustees will:
- Provide the School with the resources required to establish additional positions that will work with our Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in support of students and employees in equity and inclusion.
- Continue to address Board composition to better reflect the breadth of identities and backgrounds of the student body.
- Receive consistent professional development in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
- Incorporate DEI training for all new trustees as part of their Board orientation.
- Work with the Alumni Association to create better channels of communication and feedback between alumni, the Board, and the School.
- Develop a framework for tracking progress on quantitative diversity measures of representation, access, and equity within the School.
The School will:
- Continue our focus on broadening our recruitment and retention efforts, so that we build a more diverse student body and a faculty that better reflects the composition of our student body.
- Enhance DEI opportunities for students, faculty, and staff so we are better equipped to manage difficult conversations and understand our own biases.
- Continue our review of the discipline process at Middlesex to ensure that all students are treated equally.
- Invest in more professional development in DEI for both faculty and staff.
- Enhance our faculty evaluation process to incorporate cultural competency as a measure for reflection, feedback, and improvement.
- Continue our traditional and ongoing curriculum review and work with department heads and faculty to ensure that a broad range of voices and perspectives are represented in our academic program.
- Continue our consideration of the “true cost” of a Middlesex education and provide the resources needed for all students to fully engage with and feel at home in the community.
- Support affinity groups that foster opportunities for connection and conversation with the School.