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Great Lawn
September 10, 2020

Charge: Anti-Racism Task Force of the Board of Trustees of Phillips Academy

Task Force will execute a comprehensive review of the status of diversity, equity, and inclusion

The Board of Trustees of Phillips Academy has created the Anti-Racism Task Force to provide direction to trustees and senior administrators to understand and address the inequities faced by Black, Indigenous and other people of color at Andover, and to identify new systems and structures of practice and accountability that will transform our community, including our Outreach Programs, into one that delivers on the Academy’s promise to be diverse, equitable, and inclusive for all racial groups. Structural and systemic questions about how the Academy can better embody its values of inclusion and equity for youth from every quarter will be the principal driver of the Task Force’s work.

The Task Force will build on the foundation Andover has established as an institution devoted to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Inspired by its founding charge to educate youth from every quarter, the Academy intentionally pursued the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body, established a need-blind admission policy, and cemented Equity and Inclusion as a key pillar of its strategic planning and academic programming. Andover's Board of Trustees has long established and empowered a committee on equity and inclusion. Yet, we still recognize that Andover can and must do more to respond to a broad call to enhance our efforts. We must create newly imagined approaches to our enduring commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion.

In pursuit of its charge, the Task Force will execute a comprehensive review of the status of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Task Force will also explore many dimensions of school function, including formal and informal traditions and cultural practices, that may be particularly rooted in anti-Black sentiment and actions that adversely affect the student and adult experience. While the Task Force’s main impetus is to disrupt and dismantle racist behavior and racism, thereby reducing the harm inflicted on Black people, it will also examine how racist behavior and racism have unjustly affected Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian racial groups in the Andover community. In doing its job well, the Task Force will also examine the intersections of race and ethnicity with other foundational identities.

The Task Force will present a report to the Board of Trustees and the Head of School that documents its findings and includes an actionable blueprint for addressing racist behavior and racism in our community. The work of the committee will be transparent and final decisions will be distributed broadly to the Andover community. The report will provide direction for prioritizing policies, practices, and initiatives to sustain and improve our current diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and further mobilize anti-racist efforts. To maintain Andover's position as a leader among its peers in these areas, the Task Force may also make recommendations for more sweeping, longer-term policies and initiatives that extend beyond the campus community, understanding that PA is deeply integrated in and integral to a larger social and cultural fabric.

The Task Force will be co-chaired by Gary Lee ’74, charter trustee and chair of the trustee committee on Equity and Inclusion, and Linda Carter Griffith, associate head of school for Equity, Inclusion and Wellness, and will further consist of members of the Phillips Academy Board of Trustees, selected faculty, staff and alumni. It will also consult with professional equity and inclusion staff, both from inside and outside of the institution. Senior administrators, students and families, and, in particular Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, will be invited into the dialogue at various stages to ensure the Task Force has deep and thorough understanding of particular challenges and effective and actionable strategies to address the same.

Concentrating on the key themes of cultural inclusion, structural systems, and community connection, the Task Force will address a range of areas, including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Diverse representation in trustee, student, faculty and staff and administrators.
    • Examine the admission, retention, engagement, achievement, health and wellness of BIPOC students
    • Explore the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of BIPOC employees
    • Analyze the appointment, engagement, and retention of alumni leaders and trustees
  • Institutional Systems, Policies and Practices
    • Assess and refine all current organizational systems to integrate better diversity and inclusion practices and perspectives to drive equity and excellence.
    • In advancement, specifically examine how we communicate with, engage, and fundraise from alumni, parents, and friends to ensure the most inclusive processes and experiences to increase the effectiveness of our outcomes
    • Understand and evaluate how we manage vendor/supplier diversity and relationships
  • Student, Faculty and Employee Climate, Culture and Experiences
    • Assess and strategize improvements for BIPOC student experiences in Academic life, Residential life, Discipline, EBI and CAMD programming
    • Evaluate and recommend improvements for BIPOC employee experiences in onboarding, management relations, complaint procedures, talent development, accountability systems and practices
  • Cultural Competency skill development for trustees, students, faculty, staff and administrators
    • Develop and integrate skills to promote anti-bias, anti-racism, courageous conversations, generative feedback, and cultural responsiveness in student and employee populations
Categories: Leadership

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