Princeton Day School and Dr. Diana Artis of Olive Branch Educators announce a partnership to take next steps in the School’s mission to create a genuinely inclusive, anti-racist environment for the future. As a first step in this process, Dr. Artis will host seven focus groups that together will cover the entire School community. Please see the companion letters from Dr. Artis, CEO of Olive Branch Educators, and PDS Head of School Paul Stellato below.
Greetings Princeton Day School Community,
I hope my letter finds you as well as can be expected in the midst of all that is occurring in our country. In the midst of racial unrest there is a great source of encouragement to know that PDS and your Head of School Paul Stellato are not lapsing into a period of paralysis, but instead are moving forward with a strategic plan to begin the healing process in your community.
As you may have learned, I have been hired to support the mission outlined by Mr. Stellato and the Board of Trustees to unpack and dismantle the racist systems and practices within the PDS community. Together with the assigned task force, we will create and execute a plan for lasting change. At times the work will be hard, however with a solid commitment to move past any roadblocks and obstacles, the PDS community will enjoy the deeper connections that Mr. Stellato referenced in his letter on June 28.
I look forward to getting to know you; the first step will be through a series of virtual focus groups. The goal of these meetings is not to have you reiterate your painful experiences, but to hear your hopes and ideas for a new way forward based on your past experiences. [See the schedule of focus groups, below.]
I am passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and excited about this process. It is a privilege to walk alongside the members of the Princeton Day School community and to support your way forward to a community of which all may be proud.
All the best,
Diana Artis, Ed.D.
Founder, CEO Olive Branch Educators, LLC
To the Princeton Day School Community,
Following close on seven town halls for Black members of our community, we are using the momentum and engagement they have generated to carry forward our work to banish racism, intolerance, and hatred from our School. Although we have made a good start, it is only a start; and the great body of what we have learned and felt will be useful only to the degree that we employ its lessons moving forward. So we will.
As we continue this work, we must continue to educate ourselves: students, faculty and staff, parents, and trustees. To guide and direct that effort, Princeton Day School will turn to a most able partner, Dr. Diana Artis of Olive Branch Educators. Among the many roles Dr. Artis will play for our School, the first is that of educator: listening to our community to build and implement an anti-racism and cultural competency curriculum for students, faculty and staff, parents, and trustees. That work begins next Monday.
As you will see below, Dr. Artis has scheduled seven focus groups during the next two weeks. She has selected the format and expanded groups to include, in most cases, all community members of color. She will conduct these sessions herself, without members of School leadership. With the conclusion of these focus groups, she will recommend— and begin to implement—a curriculum for our School
I know that I have asked a good deal of you in the last few weeks. You have responded generously and shared bravely. I will ask you to do so again.
If you have not done so, please visit the Olive Branch Educators website: www.obeducators.com. As you have questions or suggestions about this critical next step, please let me know, and I will share your thoughts with Dr. Artis.
Paul J. Stellato
Head of School
Upcoming Focus Groups with Dr. Artis:
Faculty and Staff of Color
Parents of Color /Parents of Students of Color
Middle School Students of Color
Upper School Students of Color
Alumni of Color
White Faculty and Staff