Our Diverse Community
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Anthony McKinley
In his full-time role as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Anthony McKinley leads and supports the School’s efforts to appreciate the benefits of a diverse community and create and direct programs—for students and adults—that address the challenges keeping the School from realizing this opportunity. He is charged with creating thoughtful, meaningful in-house faculty professional development opportunities and drawing selectively on resources beyond the School; broadening and enriching the curriculum—in the classroom and beyond—to reflect the lived experience of all of its students; and serving as a resource for parents, alumni, trustees, and the Head of School. He partners with the Head of School, Division Heads, Associate and Assistant Heads of School, and the Department Chairs to recruit, hire, support, and retain a diverse faculty; and with the Director of Admission and staff to build a robust, diverse pool of applicants who will enroll and become members of the School community. He is a member of the School’s Leadership Team, and is an Upper School advisor, a faculty advisor to the Bridges Program, an assistant varsity basketball coach, and leader of the Community and Multicultural Development Team.
Transforming the School Environment
As Head of School Paul Stellato stated in his letter to the community on June 28, 2020, Princeton Day School is fully committed to ensuring that "all members of our community—students, parents, faculty, and alumni—enjoy the full benefit of membership in that community, and feel valued, known, and celebrated... To support and guide the work ahead, Princeton Day School has retained the services of Olive Branch Educators and its Founding Director, Dr. Diana Artis. Dr. Artis will work closely with faculty, parents, students, alumni, the Leadership Team, and the Board of Trustees, to ensure that we engage as many members of our community as possible and take full advantage of the opportunities present in this ambitious initiative."
Mr. Stellato has also called for a review of policies and programs in the following areas:
The PreK-12 curriculum: to ensure that the program fully incorporates the experiences and contributions of Black and other underrepresented communities
Standards of conduct, honor policies, and handbooks: to see that all expectations are fair and applied equally; and that discriminatory conduct of any kind is not tolerated
Anti-racism and cultural competency education for students, faculty, staff, and parents: to provide a shared language and understanding of the responsibilities of membership in a diverse community
Hiring, retention, and evaluation policies and programs: to increase and enhance the diversity of faculty, staff, and leadership across the School; and to make available resources to retain faculty and staff of color
Student life, college counseling, and athletics: to provide equal opportunity and benefit of these essential programs for all students
Admissions and retention: to build a diverse pool of candidates, allowing school enrollment to reflect more fully the communities from which its students are drawn
Parent and family outreach: to welcome and connect Black families and families of color to Princeton Day School
Further, to engage Black alumni, the School will create a Black Alumni Council, providing a formal way for them to participate in the life of the School and serve as mentors and guides for Black students and alumni.
A task force of faculty, staff, school leaders, students, recent graduates, and parents will be formed during the 2020 summer to begin the review of the areas listed above. Reporting to the Board and the Head of School at specific intervals throughout the school year, the task force will work closely with Dr. Artis, drawing upon all the resources our parent, faculty and staff, and student communities have to offer.
For the full letter to the community and the companion letter from the Board of Trustees, see this section's Updates to the PDS Community.
The School's Community and Multicultural Development Team (CMDT) includes from left to right, Daniel Cohen, Caroline Lee, Victor Cirilo, Dr. Candy Shah and Anthony McKinley, plus parent representative Tiffany Smith and Head of School Paul Stellato (latter two not pictured in this photo).
Princeton Day School (PDS) aspires to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive community in which all members are seen, challenged, affirmed, respected and valued. We believe that in actively cultivating such an environment, we foster intellectual, social and emotional growth for all of our constituents. We aim to transcend mere tolerance of differences through creating and sustaining safe spaces for PDS students that encourage courageous conversations, leaning into discomfort, deep listening and social-emotional growth, These conversations are rooted in, but not limited to, the eight major social identifiers: Race, Age, Ability, Sexual Orientation, Class, Gender, Ethnicity and Religion.
PDS faculty and staff are encouraged to actively participate in personal and professional development and engage in daily discussions surrounding topics of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Faculty and staff attend the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (POCC), New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Diversity Conference, White Privilege Conference, Race Institute, etc., to continue to engage in these essential conversations and stay abreast of best practices and research in what’s affectionately referred to as “the Work.”
The Community Multicultural Development Team (CMDT), composed of representatives across all three divisions, a parent coordinator, Health and Wellness Director and Head of School, organizes and facilitates student programming rooted in anti-racism, cultural competency, and social and emotional learning. Additionally, the Team consults with school leadership in hiring decisions, curriculum development, and faculty/staff affinity groups.
In classrooms, in clubs and affinity groups, in assemblies, through curriculum, and other programming, CMDT works to support and sustain the growth and development of anti-bias, anti-racist pedagogy and practice for all constituents.
Affinity groups include:
- Black and Latinx Student Union (BLSU)
- Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA)
- Students With Interracial Lives (SWIRL)
- Jewish Union
- Muslim Students Association (MSA)
- Middle School Students of Color Affinity Group (MS SOCAG)
Updates to PDS Community
Letters from the Board of Trustees and Head of School June 28, 2020
Update from Head of School June 18, 2020
Update from Head of School June 10, 2020
Update from Head of School June 2, 2020
Community Reading on the Black Experience and Systemic Racism