Diversity

Welcome

National Cathedral School pursues its goal of Educating Women for the World by honoring the diversity of background, culture, and perspective within this community. We aim to provide an environment where each student’s identity and individual story has space to mature and to inform her days at NCS. That identity is invariably unique as it reflects race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, family history, body image, abilities, and beliefs. Our appreciation of what each person brings to the school comes to life in vibrant community gatherings as well as in a rigorous academic program, and this prepares our students for their time beyond NCS.
 
We treasure the ongoing process of cultivating each student’s identity as she grows in our community. It challenges all of us – students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and our governing board – to play our part in ensuring that each student feels supported and fully able to take advantage of NCS’s opportunities. To do so, we strive to imbue our classrooms with informed multicultural curriculum and pedagogy, to design student life programs that encourage inclusivity, and to surround ourselves with a diverse group of students and teachers that enrich our daily interactions. We invite you to be part of this journey. So much good work has already been done, and there is so much more we can do as we learn from each other through our connections to National Cathedral School. 

Rachael Flores
Director of Diversity and Multicultural Education

Mission & Philosophy

The administration of National Cathedral School is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community for students, families, faculty and staff. This commitment is best articulated in the language of our most recent Strategic Plan:
 
National Cathedral School’s promise to educate women for the world requires that we welcome and honor a diverse community. In keeping with our historic identity and close association with the National Cathedral, we believe in the dignity and worth of each individual and seek to promote equity, justice, and fairness.
 
Diversity and inclusion enrich the learning environment of our school and are cornerstones of academic and interpersonal excellence. As the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS) states, “diversity requires an ongoing process by which a school lives and breathes its commitment to include different peoples and perspectives into its community, curriculum, and culture”. A diverse student body and faculty prepare students to work effectively and collaboratively with individuals who represent the full range of backgrounds and perspectives in a global community. We recognize that commitment to the ideals of diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism is not enough: progress requires action. Each member of our community has a role to play in fulfilling this goal.
 
To prepare NCS students for global citizenship, we will pursue the following goals:
 
  • Create an increasingly multicultural and inclusive learning environment.
  • Vigorously and strategically recruit students, faculty, staff, and administrators to our school from underrepresented populations.
  • Make diversity a priority in filling governance and other volunteer leadership roles.
  • Ensure that all members of the NCS community have the tools they need to be successful in our program.
  • Increase opportunities for honest and respectful dialogue regarding the lives and experiences of our community members.
  • Deepen the faculty’s facility with multicultural pedagogy and curriculum development.
  • Strengthen and broaden community connections so that students see themselves as an integral part of NCS well beyond their time here

For Our Students

List of 5 items.

  • Black Student Union

    The Black Student Union provides a forum for students of color at NCS and enhances school life in general by promoting awareness of Black History, culture, and contemporary issues relating to Blacks and other students of color. In addition to meetings, BSU sponsors dances and visits to other BSU chapters. Membership is open to all students in grades 7-12.
  • Equity Board

    The Upper School Equity Board, a subsidiary of the Student Government, is made up of faculty, administrators, and students in the Upper School community. The Board is co-chaired by a senior and the US Multicultural Education Chair, and also consists of two representatives from each grade (9-12). The MS Equity Board has a faculty advisor; students can join the group as a club activity.

    Both Equity Boards serve the NCS community as 1) an arena for discussion to which students can bring topics, questions and proposals, and 2) a proactive committee in planning programs that address equity issues on campus. 
  • Equity Club

    The Middle School Equity Club brings together students who are interested in social justice topics and share a desire to discuss and promote equity at NCS and beyond. The club annually participates in, and leads workshops for, East Ed's Middle School Student Diversity Leadership Conference each spring. It also helps to lead the Middle School portion of NCS's annual Diversity Forum.
  • Gender and Sexuality Alliance

    The Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club that explores issues related to gender and sexuality at our school and, more broadly, in our society and world. It seeks to foster a climate at NCS in which students feel safe and empowered to live as valued members of our community. Activities include bake sales, commemorations of events such as National Coming Out Day, and discussions about straight and cisgendered allyship.
  • Kaleidoscope

    Kaleidoscope is a student-initiated, student-led space for dialogue on current issues related to social justice and diversity. Coming together regularly throughout the year, Kaleidoscope has no official members and no elected leaders. It may inspire change, but it is primarily designed as a safe space for students to reflect, share, and listen to one another with courage and respect.

For Our Faculty

List of 3 items.

  • Professional Development

    Faculty and staff at NCS are encouraged to participate in professional development opportunities related to diversity and multicultural education. Our faculty and staff regularly attend annual conferences like NAIS’s People of Color Conference, the White Privilege Conference, and events hosted by local associations like East Ed, AIMS and AISGW. Additionally, speakers and consultants are invited regularly to provide workshops and seminars on research about multicultural pedagogy, brain development, cultural competency, and other topics. 
  • SEED (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity)

    Faculty and staff at NCS have the opportunity to participate in SEED seminars led by two NCS faculty members on campus. The SEED Project is a national, peer-led seminar series designed to “create gender-fair, multiculturally equitable, socioeconomically aware, and globally informed education.” Seminars require a year-long commitment by faculty and staff members who participate in three-hour sessions once a month during the academic year. Started by Dr. Peggy McIntosh, SEED seminars allow faculty and staff to “explore their own education in relation to race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual identity, abilities, and age, and how these factors currently impact their school and classrooms. They consider how they can use their classrooms to create a more equitable environment for all learners.” To learn more about SEED, check out their website.
  • Affinity Groups

    Affinity Groups bring together faculty and staff who share aspects of identity that may impact their experience at NCS. The groups provide a space for reflection, dialogue and support, and they create opportunities for empowerment of the individual and of the group within the greater community. Groups include Latino/a Faculty and Staff, Black/African American Women, LGBTQ Faculty and Staff, Interfaith Connections, and White Anti-Racist Allies.