Equity and Inclusion

The Equity & Inclusion Office champions and supports a sense of belonging for all, creating an environment where individuals are able to show up as their most authentic selves, coming together in the shared WA mission and core values, supported by our commitment to authentic personal growth. We aim to develop more informed, innovative, and empathetic problem solvers now, who will be able to successfully navigate a global ecosystem through ever-changing social-political, economic, and environmentally tumultuous times. The insular focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a foundational necessity and integral to the broader focus on the culture of the Academy.

The Academy celebrates diversity and strives to create inclusive learning spaces inside and outside of the classroom. We understand that social and cultural awareness, competencies, and humility are critical components of holistic lifelong learning and embedded in rigorous academics that elevate intellectual challenge. A focus on belonging and exposure to diverse lived experiences creates bridges of connectivity across individuals, groups and communities. 

Dynamic partners work across campus to improve and create new pathways for teaching and learning, that are mindful of equitable and sustainable learning environments that are adaptable, innovative and culturally responsive.

A message from the Dean of Equity & Inclusion

My commitment to DEI at WA necessitates the maintenance of an environment that encourages the expression of diverse perspectives, supports learning and work that is free from discrimination and harassment, promotes inclusion and respect, and evaluates progress toward ensuring equity and inclusion for all on a continuous basis.

Abigail A. Mensah (Orleans Thompson) Ed.M
Dean of Equity & Inclusion

Equity & Inclusion Commitment

Worcester Academy celebrates the individual and collective diversity of our School community and respects, affirms, and protects the dignity and worth of each person in it. Our commitments are reflected in our mission and core values, in our curriculum, and in the policies, programs, and practices of the School. Given the long history of systems of oppression in the communities that Worcester Academy students, faculty, and alumni navigate, we must reconcile this, and prioritize thoughtful, supportive engagement of the lived experiences of individuals. We will be intentional in our work to eliminate oppressive language and practices that target any identity and lived experience. 
  • We strive to create accountability for diversity, equity, and inclusion and cross-cultural humility, in our learning community and beyond.
  • We strive for life-long learning that elevates diverse interests and perspectives and engagement as global citizens.
  • We strive for empathetic leadership and making equitable and honorable decisions.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that Worcester Academy is on the ancestral, unceded territory of the Nipmuc; http://www.nipmucnation.org. The Nipmuc Nation also uses the term Chaubunagungamaug Nipmuc of Worcester County, Massachusetts. Most of the more than 500 members live in and around Chaubunagungamaug Reservation, Hassanamisco Reservation and the city of Worcester. In spite of the theft of their lands and the killings of their ancestors by Western settlers, the Nipmuc people have survived and flourished. We invite you to join us in honoring their stewardship, past, present, and future. With this acknowledgement we give recognition, honor and pay respect to the Indigenous People as original stewards of this land where WA sits, and to the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. Truth and acknowledgment are critical to building mutual respect and connection across all barriers of heritage and difference.

List of 3 items.

  • Student Organizations

    • Affinity groups including the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), BSU (Black Student Union), Nuestro Vos, Student Activists and Allies, and the Adopted Students Group are active and there is room for more! Your particular piece of our multicultural affinity puzzle is welcomed! There are typically between 9 and 12 US affinity groups and given year. Affinity groups offer spaces for people from specific self-identified affinities to gather where they make up the majority. In these circles, folx share community, hold discussions, support one another and observe affinity-centered celebrations in camaraderie. Sometimes affinity groups also host open community events. 
    • Our students participate in the national and regional DEI-focused conferences and workshops. 
    • WA is proud to support and participate in the AISNE diversity practitioners programs and events and is a past host of the High School Students of Color Conference.
  • Professional Development

    Equity and inclusion in action takes ongoing practice, and our faculty learns along with our students. Faculty programs keep our teachers ever mindful and attune to support our campus mosaic. Members of the WA faculty attend the Multicultural Teaching Institute, where they learn how to develop engaging multicultural lessons within the curriculum and they gain a deeper understanding of personal limitations and implicit biases. Faculty and staff also attend additional workshops and training.
  • Parent & Family Programs

    • We host Affinity pre-orientation programs for students and families 
    • We host parent affinity groups to discuss the needs of students from affinity identities and lived experiences
    • Parents are welcomed to campus for programs and events and to share insights, ask questions, get information and partner with us as we create pathways to support and solidify a sense of belonging for all students.