Inspired by a desire “to make Masters a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community,” upper school science teacher Jayanti Nerurkar joined the School’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force last fall.
Head of Engineering and Maintenance Craig Dunne, who is also a member of the task force, was just as determined in seeking improvement. “There must be change from me before I can expect it from others.”
“This group is important because its members represent the majority of people in our community: students, parents, faculty, administrators, staff - all who are invested in the success of our ‘A Better Masters’ plan and have various perspectives on what we are doing well, and what we still need to do,” said Karen Brown, director of equity and inclusion.
Head of School Laura Danforth shared an update to the Better Masters plan with the School community on February 23 which acknowledged the group’s efforts. Associate Director of College Counseling Esperanza Borrero is the chair of the task force which includes 17 members who have met regularly since the fall.
“Overall, one of our main obstacles is tapping into people’s desire for change and growth toward becoming an anti-racist and anti-bias community while the global pandemic continues to deplete so much of our personal energy,” Borrero explained. “However, I am hopeful that people will see our task force’s initiatives not only as necessary but also nourishing to their souls and imperative to bringing our community closer to healing.”
The group created three subcommittees to help with achieving their goals of transformational change at the School: Courageous Conversations and Equity Chats, Data and Policy, and Review of Current Handbooks, Disciplinary Policies, and ‘A Better Masters’ Plan.
With a rollout of their Courageous Conversations initiative to the community in April, Nerurkar is encouraged by every meeting she attends. “I find that each and every member on the task force is deeply committed to the cause and wants to continue working in this area,” she said.