The Diversity Program at Priory is geared towards matching our mission and values through individual growth as well as creating a community where all are welcome.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT
The Woodside Priory School, following its Benedictine history and tradition, believes strongly in social justice and progressive change for the advancement of the world. As such, we are deeply committed to equity and inclusion in our community: for students, faculty, and staff who come from underrepresented backgrounds. Nearly half our student population are students of color who come from various socioeconomic, ethnic, and regional backgrounds. The Priory thrives on this diversity. We as a school recognize, appreciate, and celebrate the many identities that make up our community. The Priory is constantly striving and working to be a better place - a place where all people feel safe, supported, and celebrated. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (faculty and staff) works with many student groups, as well as the school administration, to ensure that all voices are heard. As members of a Benedictine community, we are constantly learning and moving forward together.
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good
News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives
will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18)
Equity & Inclusion Programs at the Priory
The Priory has an Equity and Inclusion committee comprised of faculty and staff at the school. Anyone can join this committee; these people are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice and meet on their own time. Additionally, we send at least four faculty and staff to the NAIS’ People of Color Conference every year. The committee meets about once a month to discuss professional development and school-appropriate issues. We give space for faculty and staff to voice concerns, and we also discuss student issues. The committee has created a five-year plan that strategizes the Priory’s plan toward becoming a more equitable institution.
The Priory’s Access Program is an organization aimed at serving low-income students of color at this independent school. Headed by Gulliver LaValle and Kaitlin Bonfiglio, Access is designed to celebrate and best support students and their families, so that all students can have a positive experience at this school. We provide wraparound services such as books, resources, group tutoring, one free international school trip, and more. More importantly, we connect students and families who are navigating the dominant culture of independent schools. Students have meetings together once a month, and now we are having family social gatherings in towns and cities like East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City, and more. This is to bring the community together, supporting each other along the journey of independent schools. If you are interested in learning more about the Access program, please contact Gulliver LaValle or Kaitlin Bonfiglio!
Affinity groups are safe spaces for people based on different parts of human identity, such as race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and more. The Priory is working toward creating official, institutionalized affinity groups, for both faculty/staff and students. Right now, as it stands, students create their own organizations that act as affinity groups. Examples of these are clubs such as: PRISM (Priory’s Rainbow Institution of Sexuality Matters), Dedicated 2 Diversity, and Latinos Unidos.