Mercersburg Academy’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, which is comprised of faculty and students, exists to cultivate a safe community where everyone is emboldened to be their authentic selves.
In a world where social norms are evolving rapidly, how might we at Mercersburg improve our policies, practices, and programs to strengthen our community as it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
First established in 2018 for the 2018-2019 school year and led by Selas Douglas, former history faculty, a task force began leading students, faculty, and staff in conversations and planning as it related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This group was charged with exploring what Mercersburg has accomplished related to DEI, thinking about what DEI currently means at the school, and considering what it looks like for our school moving forward. The work continues now under the leadership of interim director of diversity, equity, and inclusion (and English faculty member) Leela Woody.
While much work has been done to educate our community on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the work is ongoing, and we commit to building our DEI initiatives as a community. We invite you to review a current list of actions the school is taking and look at some of the programs the school has been fostering over the past three years.
Faculty Members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Student Members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
From our foundational work with our task force, we created a DEI Committee made up of multiple subcommittees that will continue the work of the task force into the foreseeable future. Actions the school is currently taking include:
As our country pleads for an end to racism, we at Mercersburg Academy join the chorus of voices in clearly stating that Black lives matter and by condemning all forms of racism and bigotry. To our students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni of color, I want you to personally hear me say that your Mercersburg community stands with you, we love you, and we will endeavor to take action alongside you as we always seek to represent, in all that we do, the unique culture that is Mercersburg that we commit to promoting, both on and off of our campus.
- Former Head of School Katie Titus P ’20, ’23
Student Clubs and Organizations
Mercersburg faculty and student-run clubs offer many opportunities to engage in courageous conversations.
Asian Student Union
Black Student Union
Humans of Mercersburg
Latinx/Hispanic Student Union
Women’s Activist Club
Affinity spaces on campus provide a community and group for students with shared identities to gather, celebrate, discuss, and support their identities. Led and supported by faculty members that sit on the Affinity Space Committee, which focuses on considering the structure and mission of the spaces, these spaces aim to affirm our students. Currently, our spaces include:
Established in early 2021, the LGBTQIA+ Policy Committee is comprised of students and faculty from residential life, school culture and the DEI Committee to consider the equity and inclusion of our LGBTQIA+ identifying students. This committee aims to identify strategies and protocols to create a culture of belonging for our students in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Adult Ally Group
Established in late 2020, the adult ally group is led by Allison Stephens and centers around conversations about allyship to folks with marginalized identities. Working in tandem with the DEI Committee, the group identifies topical conversations and works to find ways to serve as true allies and co-conspirators in DEI initiatives.
The school’s community-reading program ties into each school theme. More information on the 2020 program can be found here. Recent book selections included:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sánchez
The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham
Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman's Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front by MJ Hegar
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
The Woman's Hour by Elaine Weiss
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle
At a Glance
of our students receive financial aid (30 percent is the boarding-school average)
of our students are international (representing 39 different countries)
of domestic students identify as students of color