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Diversity and Equity

Diversity and Equity are guiding principles at Packer. We are committed to building and sustaining a community of students and adults that reflects the great diversity of our city. We are committed to expanding the spaces where all the members of our community can be their full selves. Most of all, we are committed to doing the work that these goals require. 

Our purpose

For Packer students, the benefits of learning in a diverse community where individuality is valued and equity is affirmed are immeasurable. The conversations we initiate throughout the Packer community are openly held and deeply valued. Our work is often connected to our focus on social-emotional development, community engagement, and global learning. We are actively engaged in cultural competency work because we understand the positive impact it can have on all members of our community, more importantly, we know the potential this work has for encouraging justice and empathy in the world beyond Packer’s doors. 

Our students and families

Our commitment to the diversity of people in our community encompasses every social identifier, including, but not limited to, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, family composition, and ability. As a community, we are focused on the encouragement, support, and experience of every student, and work with families to ensure students experience full membership at Packer. Our students have established a range of affinity groups and clubs to examine the commonalities of their experiences and generate understanding across our community as it relates to various identities, interests and beliefs.

Our events

We hold student-centered events as well as meaningful community events to bring students, families, school professionals, alumni, and neighbors together to share perspectives, find common ground, and build empathy. Our annual school-wide Packer in Action program offers students and adults opportunities to examine, discuss, and dismantle inequities in our community and world. The annual Middle School Equity Simulation gives students first-hand insights into how identifiers impact one’s experiences and opportunities in the world.

Throughout the year we co-sponsor speakers, workshops, meet-ups, and other activities to build on the work of our Community Engagement Program, Global Learning Program, and our Alumni Office.  We also work very closely with the Diversity Discussion Group of the Packer Parent Association, hosting monthly meetings and bringing in outside speakers to help foster growth and conversation.

Program Areas

Diversity Mission Statement

Packer believes that healthy identity development is essential to the academic, social, and emotional growth of our students. As educators, we must create an environment in which all students feel safe, challenged, celebrated, and an integral part of Packer. It is our responsibility to engage all members of our school community in understanding multiple perspectives and participating in anti-bias work. Ultimately, our goal is to prepare students to become contributing members of a multicultural and interconnected society.

Local and National Student Conferences

Packer Upper Schoolers at the Young Womyn of Strength Conference

Diversity Awareness Initiatives for Students (DAIS) Sessions - Various

Young Womxn of Strength - November 2019

Young Men of Color Symposium & Redefining Power Conference - November 2019

Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) Conference - November 2019

NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) - November 2019

White Privilege Conference - April 2020

Latin@/Latinx Youth Conference - April 2020

Young Asian Leadership Alliance (YALA) Gala  - April 2020

From Diversity to Community Conference - April 2020

Diversity Awareness Initiatives for Students (DAIS) Conference - May 2020

Local and National Professional Conferences

Packer faculty and students at PoCC and SDLC 2018

Interschool Leadership Institute - Summer 2018

Institute for Teaching Diversity and Social Justice - Summer 2018

Institute for Social Emotional Learning - Summer 2018

Critical Analysis of Race in Learning & Education (CARLE) Institute - July 2018

BorderCrossers - Educators Workshop - Various

NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC) - November 2018

NYSAIS LGBTQ+ Dinner - December 2018

Candidates of Color Connect - January 2019

White Privilege Conference - March 2019

NYSAIS Diversity Conference - April 2019

From Diversity to Community Conference - April 2019

NYSAIS Faculty, Staff & Administrators of Color Dinner - May 2019

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Key Events

Parent Association Welcome Breakfast | September

Pelicans of Color Events: Connecting Current Students and Alumni | Various

Middle School Equity Simulation | November

MLK Workshop and Peace Walk | January

Cultural Day | February

Packer in Action Program | March

PA Diversity Committee Annual Picnic | June

Affinity Spaces

Middle and Upper School students can participate in a range of affinity groups.

Diversity & Equity Work Up Close

Meet our Diversity and Equity Team

Meet our Diversity and Equity Team

Lynnette Arthur

Head Teacher, Preschool Diversity and Equity Coordinator

Tom James

Mathematics Teacher, Upper School Diversity and Equity Coordinator

Vidya Misra

History Teacher, Middle School Diversity and Equity Coordinator

Nick Sardar

Head Teacher, Lower School Diversity and Equity Coordinator

Semeka Smith-Williams

Director of Diversity and Equity

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Student workshop at The Packer Collegiate Institute
3rd Graders engage in diversity work

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