A Message from the Director of Diversity & Inclusion
At Hotchkiss, we prepare our students to navigate an increasingly complex world. We believe that Hotchkiss students must arrive at graduation day having confidence in their own humanity and morals, and possessing the capacity to engage with the divergent views of others. As Hotchkiss’ inaugural Director of Diversity & Inclusion, I am committed to ensuring a rich learning experience in this intentionally diverse Hotchkiss community of students, faculty, and staff.
As an educator, I have always looked to the work of bell hooks for philosophical guidance. hooks’s work, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, states that “While it is utterly unreasonable for students to expect classrooms to be therapy sessions, it is appropriate for them to hope that the knowledge received in these settings will enrich and enhance them” (19). For the last four years, Hotchkiss has provided me a literal and figurative classroom. I continue to grow as an English teacher in my classroom with students, but also as a person when engaged in all that the Hotchkiss community has to offer. Hotchkiss has always been the classroom of the students, alums, faculty, staff, parents, and trustees who have chosen this community to be a part of shaping their lives--the learning experience that enriches and enhances them intellectually and personally. And as a leader in independent secondary education, Hotchkiss continues to evolve to meet the challenges of a globalizing world. Our recent initiatives, including the launch of an All-Gender Residential Program and the establishment of a multifaith prayer space embody this mission.
I invite you to explore the Diversity and Inclusion webpage, as it will give you a glimpse of what Hotchkiss offers to its community members. Here at Hotchkiss, we view differences as assets. We want you to bring all facets of your identity, allow them to grow, and be open to learning more about identities that do not mirror your own. Following the school’s motto, “Guided by each other, let us seek better paths,” it is our mission to build a community where all are safe, seen, and supported.
Once A Bearcat….Always A Bearcat!
Once A Bearcat....Always Loved!
Rachel L. Myers, Ph.D.
"I think the strength of this community is that we have a lot of different people coming together from different backgrounds, and we’re always willing to talk."
—Aba Sam '17
"One of the biggest strengths of our community is that we’re really flexible and willing to change."
–Jelani Hutchins-Belgrave '17
"Hotchkiss is my daughter's home away from home. I feel as connected to this community as I do with my children here in Michigan, although there are 600 miles between us."
–Yolanda Brown-Spidell P '18
This Student Council is charged with:
- Serve as an liaison for Hotchkiss community members who wish to share particular information or specific issues regarding diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.
- Help to address incidents that threaten the school’s aspiration “to create a community in which students develop their own voices and learn to relate to each other with understanding, respect, and empathy.”
- Hold monthly working meetings to propose and develop short-term and long-term initiatives that will improve diversity, equity and inclusion at Hotchkiss.
2018-19 student representatives:
- Nia Talley '19
- Priyanka Kumar '19
- Gill Duquette '19
- Axel Bhandari '19
- Miles Brewster '20
- Tanami Penfold '20
- Zakari Bilo '20
- Ivy Bhandari '21
- Emily Heimer '21
- Meghana Annamaneni '21
"We are preparing [our students] to lead lives of consequence and to help build a society in the future that is more just and humane. One of the roles of our school is to broaden our students' understanding of important issues through knowledge of the issues as well as understanding how those who are most directly affected feel, and why. This is one of the great educational benefits of living in a diverse community — it enables us to learn from those who are different."
— Craig Bradley, Head of School