Diversity Director Christian SchoolsOne of the aims of the new Christian Educators Diversity Alliance, which we spearhead, is to periodically share resources and information to help schools with their diversity and inclusion goals. From how to build a diversity program to showcasing what schools are doing in diversity and inclusion work, we hope to inspire and encourage each other as we walk this path together. Today, we want to provide some information that we feel will be useful when building a diversity program.

It has, at times, been argued that schools don’t need diversity directors—that diversity and inclusion will develop naturally even in the absence of recognized leadership. While we understand the sentiment behind this argument, we feel that not only is a diversity director able to best focus efforts to achieve expected goals, but also the office of director is able to expand and assist many other departments. Just as the campus ministry office focuses on the spiritual development of our students and the curriculum office focuses on what is taught, we feel it is important to have a diversity office that focuses on diversity and inclusion efforts in all areas of the school.

If the establishment of a recognized office of director is not feasible, another option is to have diversity coordinators. The coordinators are particularly beneficial as they are the eyes and ears in every division. This is generally a stipend position given to teachers with a passion for diversity and inclusion work. However, based on experience, we feel that the best plan is for diversity coordinators in every division working alongside a diversity director. This allows the diversity director to comprehensively coordinate with all departments at the level of the overall structure and the divisional coordinators to assess the actual daily practices of what is going on in the hallways, classrooms, and during events and activities.

If you are interested in obtaining sample job descriptions of diversity directors that we feel will help better explain this, please contact us at christianed.diversityalliance@gmail.com. We would also be happy to add you to our email list, through which we regularly share resources and invite collaboration between schools and educators.

Finally, please consider joining us at the 2020 Christian Educators Diversity Symposium. We are proud to partner with CESA, ACSI, and Joshua Expeditions to offer our third-annual symposium, which will be held at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas. We are already working with incredible speakers on topics that affect all our schools. Registration will soon be available online, but in the meantime, please consider blocking your calendar for April 26-28 to learn from and with hundreds of Christian educators working toward diverse and inclusive school communities.

About the Authors

David Robinson, Joel Hazard, and Jenny Brady lead the Christian Educators Diversity Alliance, whose tagline is “Together in Conversation and Action.” You can reach them at christianed.diversityalliance@gmail.com.

David Robinson serves as the director of Diversity and Inclusion for Grace Community School in Tyler, Texas. David has a BS in Bible from Baptist Bible College (Clarks Summit University) and has spent his entire professional career working in Christian education. This has helped shape his passion for cultivating an environment in which all students have access to a Christ-centered education, while feeling appreciated and celebrated. David helped found the Christian Educators Diversity Alliance, whose work centers around helping Christian schools develop a more diverse and inclusive environment. David is also a member of Profound Gentlemen, a community that provides support to male educators of color around the country. Along with David’s diversity and inclusion work, he continues to invest in young people through the world of athletics as a basketball and football coach.

Joel Hazard is in his 15th year as a Christian educator. He currently serves as the head of Upper School at Fort Bend Christian Academy in Sugar Land, Texas. Joel is a co-founder of the Christian Educators Diversity Alliance and a member of the Profound Gentlemen organization, a community of male educators of color providing a profound impact for boys of color. Joel has a master’s degree in educational leadership, as well as a specialist degree in educational leadership for learning from Kennesaw State University. Joel has a heart and passion for school leadership and is a champion of diversity within the private school sector. His efforts focus on curriculum development, building a learning environment that is inclusive, racially literate, and socially and emotionally proficient in preparing students to thrive in the 21st century.

Jenny Brady brings a unique perspective to the diversity discussion. Jenny is currently serving as the director of Diversity for Prestonwood Christian Academy, a position created to express her passion for diversity while combining her personal experience growing up on the mission field in Honduras. She holds an MS in sociology and a BA in Spanish. In the educational realm, Jenny has worked as a teacher and administrator, and is on the Leadership Team at PCA. She is the co-creator of the Christian Educators Diversity Alliance and is a speaker, teacher, author and trainer on diversity for schools across the country.

 

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Questions to Consider:

With whom does leadership of diversity and inclusion efforts at your school fall? Are those responsibilities formally or informally assigned?

If your school does not have a diversity director or coordinator, how might hiring or appointing such a person help your school in your efforts toward creating a diverse and inclusive school community?

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