DEI at Hill undergoes transformation


Like Many Others, Diversity and Inclusion at Hill Undergoes a Summer Transformation: 

This August, after a summer of heightened support for the Black Lives Matter movement and national outcry for companies and institutions to contribute to a more equitable society, Hill students received their first statement from the co-presidents of Hill’s revamped Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Naomi Ude ‘21 and Iha Chikkala ‘21 wrote to the community as the first co-presidents of DEI along with statements from Hill’s student government association and honor council.  In this statement, they laid out their views for the first year of the DEI council. 

“I would call DEI a rebranding of the Inclusion Council, it’s not necessarily new,” Ude said. “Because we are the follow up to the Inclusion Council, we are dedicated to doing a lot more than the council did.”

We never had the word ‘Equity’ in our name designation. We added it to emphasize our commitment to fairness.” faculty advisor Kristi Adams wrote. 

DEI functions differently than the group format of the inclusion council. Their group is made up of many smaller subcommittees. “Inclusion council was just that, a council. With DEI, we have specific subgroups with leaders in social media, student education, teacher education, event planning,” Ude said. 

This summer, students and alumni called for a response from The Hill School and Headmaster Zack Lehman on the Black Lives Matter Movement both on social media and in letters to administrators. “We are trying to create a community that is constantly having conversations about identity, inclusion, and making sure that Hill is the most all-encompassing space that it can be,” Ude said. 

The DEI committee has many plans for the upcoming school year. Chikkala wrote that some of the most important areas for this year are “educating students on the minority experience, hate speech, and microaggressions.” 

“Naomi and I believe the committee holds promising changes for Hill’s future,” said Chickala in a statement submitted to Hill News. “We are excited to see how the student body will engage with the new resources we are building.”

Members of DEI and selected students will be leading discussions on the summer reading book, Racial Profiling, within their advisories.