With an ongoing commitment to equity and inclusion, the Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE) shapes the educational landscape for independent schools through leadership, education, service, and strategic advocacy.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
AISNE represents many different types of schools. In the context of the missions and values of our schools, AISNE seeks to encourage an environment in which all members of the community are valued, included and feel an authentic sense of belonging. We believe that cultivating diversity is an essential part of an effective learning environment.
For AISNE, diversity is an umbrella term that includes race, gender, age, ethnicity, culture, nationality, sexual orientation, social and economic class, physical and learning differences, and religion, as well as other characteristics that contribute to each individual’s full identity.
We acknowledge and value the tensions and conflicts all schools experience as they work to become truly inclusive institutions, recognizing that progress comes from embracing, not avoiding, this important struggle.
- Schools have an obligation to prepare students to thrive in a diverse world and to develop in them the capacity to encounter difference with openness, empathy, and humility.
- The diversity of identities within our school communities enhances educational experiences, builds citizenship, and strengthens society.
- Transformative school communities are ones where all members feel a deep sense of welcome and belonging and have the opportunity to engage their full potential.
- Cultivating cultural competence in school communities, particularly in school leadership and governance bodies, and creating spaces where community members can practice strengthening those skills are essential to the work of DEIB.
- In the power of courageous dialogue and in the power of the collective network to support and compel each member school to be a learning community for all of its constituents.
- Our schools, no matter where they are in the work, can evolve their teaching and learning practices to meet the opportunities and demands of the future.
- Collaborative leadership among AISNE schools – demonstrated through the sharing of experiences and best practices – can positively shape the future of education.
Values in Action
AISNE’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in our schools (DEIB) comes in many forms across our portfolio of programs and services. Some recent examples of our work:
- Leadership cohorts and programs for current and aspiring leaders of color in our member schools.
- Partnership with local and national organizations that advance DEIB in independent school education.
- Support for DEIB practitioners in schools.
- Robust DEIB indicators woven throughout AISNE accreditation standards.
- Student-oriented events that support current students of color in independent schools.
- Timely and relevant professional development that addresses the challenges and amplifies the opportunities that arise out of the work of creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive school communities that engender an authentic sense of belonging.