Chronology of DEI Initiatives

The following list highlights many of the initiatives we've taken over nearly 25 years. They speak to the structure of our school; the ongoing education of our students, faculty/staff, parents/guardians, alumni and greater community; and regular assessment, both internal and external.

  • 1997 Established Office of Diversity and Multicultural Education.
  • 1998 Established Board of Trustees Committee on Diversity.
  • 1998 Began to host an annual year-end JBS African American family dinner.
  • 1999 Held faculty-trustee retreat on diversity.
  • 2000 Hosted NCCJ Building an Inclusive Community Workshop.
  • 2001 Recognized by the Department of Justice for diversity efforts as aggressive, innovative and comprehensive.
  • 2001 Sponsored a roundtable on diversity in corporate life.
  • 2001 Hosted the "Lift Every Voice and Sing" exhibit, on loan from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
  • 2002 Reviewed policies and practices around religion.
  • 2003 Hosted Frankie Muse Freeman, a civil rights leader, for a student assembly and a "fireside" chat with parents.
  • 2004 Hosted Gene Batiste, NAIS vice president of equity and justice, who discussed the role of affinity groups.
  • 2005 Participated in a pilot of NAIS's Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism.
  • 2006 Completed first iteration of strategic plan for diversity.
  • 2007 Hosted FOCUS St. Louis and KETC-Channel 9's "Black, White & Green: Community Conversations."
  • 2008 Hosted a viewing and discussion of the PBS documentary, "Race: The Power of an Illusion."
  • 2009 Hosted the Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles, a civil rights leader and a personal friend and witness to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, for a student assembly and an evening session open to the St. Louis community.
  • 2011 Hosted Tim Wise, national anti-racist educator and author, for a student assembly, a faculty workshop and an evening session open to the St. Louis community.
  • 2011 Hosted Senator Jack Danforth who led a discussion on the diversity of thought during a student assembly, several individual classes and an evening session open to the St. Louis community.
  • 2011-2012 Engaged in a community-wide NAIS Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism.
  • 2013 Hosted Eliachi Kimaro, Seattle-based filmmaker, who screened and discussed her documentary "A Lot Like You," which explores Kimaro's mixed-race heritage and situates her personal family history within a social, historical and political context of African decolonization, transnational relations, race, class and gender violence.
  • 2013 Engaged Steven Jones, a national expert on leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion, for discussions with the faculty, staff and Board of Trustees. 
  • 2014 Received the NCCJ's Brotherhood Sisterhood Award for head of school's diversity initiatives.
  • 2014 Facilitated student, faculty, alum and parent discussions/presentations around Ferguson.
  • 2014 Hosted an evening program featuring a panel on religious pluralism for the greater St. Louis community.
  • 2015 Screened I’m Not Racist ~ Am I? in a workshop with students from SLPS, McCleur and Ladue who viewed and processed the documentary with JBS students.
  • 2015 Hosted Rohina Malik for an evening and an assembly presentation of her one-woman play, Unveiled, about Muslim women in a post-9/11 world.
  • 2015 Launched The Equity Exchange, a think tank of public and private educational leaders sharing strategic solutions to their work around DEI and cultural competency.
  • 2016 Hosted the Fargesn Project filmmaker for an evening program, assembly and several class discussions; area activists were also included.
  • 2016 Sponsored a program on the intersection of religion and politics, featuring Mark Smith (JBS History Department), Marie Griffith (The Danforth Center for Religion and Politics), and a panel of area religious leaders.
  • 2017 Began year-long, one-on-one cultural competency coaching with Daniel Harris and five faculty members who can, in turn, serve as coaches and facilitators for other faculty.
  • 2017 Sponsored Songs in the Key of Life – a journey through African-American music, a concert featuring jazz musician/JBS parent Peter Martin and vocalist Anita Jackson—which became an annual part of the school's celebration of Black History Month.
  • 2017 Sponsored a presentation on the history and significance of Confederate monuments made by Mark Smith (History Department).
  • 2017 Sponsored Courageous Conversations, a program about white supremacy and white privilege, led by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., director of the Privilege Institute and the National White Privilege Conference.
  • 2017 Developed an inclusivity index that annually measures students' experiences.
  • 2018 Sponsored MLK50: Bearing Witness, featuring an exhibit of Ernest C. Withers photographs of the Civil Rights Movement and a program featuring history teachers Mark Smith, John Merritt and Carrie Dodson-Ching and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis executive director Lisa Melandri.
  • 2018 Responded to a visit from the Westboro Baptist Church with stunning unity from students, faculty, staff, families and alumni.
  • 2018 Awarded an E. E. Ford Foundation matching leadership grant to support and expand the work of The Equity Exchange.
  • 2018 Sponsored a panel discussion outlining the state-wide ballot measures and their possible impact on St. Louisans.
  • 2018 Sponsored a panel discussion giving clarity to the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity — and the challenges that face each community.
  • 2019 Sponsored a student poverty simulation and lock-in in advance of the annual MLK Day of Service.
  • 2019 Sponsored a panel discussion of equitable education in St. Louis, five years post-Ferguson. The panel featured Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, co-chair of the Ferguson Commission; Dr. Kelvin Adams, superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools; Andy Abbott, head of JBS; and Valerie Bell, board member of the National Network of Schools in Partnership.
  • 2020 Sponsored a presentation on the history and significance of Confederate monuments made by Mark Smith (History Department).
  • 2020 Hosted a panel discussion on the health disparities COVID-19 further revealed.
  • 2020 Sponsored a Zoom conversation with Wash U faculty John Inazu and Sean Joe about how we must live together in spite of deep differences over politics, race and religion.
  • 2021 Sponsored a Zoom social justice summit with students, parents/guardians, faculty/staff and alums, including activist, writer and educator Brittany Packnett Cunningham ‘02.