Austin Trinity

An independent K-8 Episcopal day school five miles from the heart of Austin

Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Plan

“Diversity is the One True Thing We All Have in Common”

Promoting Intellectual Curiosity, Spiritual Growth, and a Strong Community

   

At Trinity, we believe diversity embraces both the visible and invisible differences among individuals including, but not limited to, race, culture, religion, socioeconomic status, perspectives, physical ability, education, family composition, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

We believe a diverse and inclusive community is essential to a well-rounded education that promotes intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, and moral growth. For our children to be successful and productive citizens in our ever-changing world, they must learn to explore, understand, and value others in a safe, nurturing, and diverse environment. With this foundation, our students are prepared to think critically, collaborate effectively, and lead as they navigate the world beyond Trinity.

What makes Trinity Episcopal School different from other schools and institutions who seek diversity within their organizations? Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is firmly embedded in our Episcopal Identity, which defines what we believe--We Are All Children of God. It is our responsibility to proclaim God’s love for all, love our neighbor as ourselves, strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being.

The Episcopal tradition values learning through open and rigorous intellectual inquiry by:

  • Seeking wisdom from many different places and voices
  • Welcoming a community of many faiths and experiences to have the opportunity to learn from each other and have a deeper understanding of our own beliefs
  • Celebrating and rejoicing in the richness and understanding that diversity brings

This is the foundation and the fundamental “why” of our work at Trinity.  It is the basis for our mission and our four core values – Christian Foundation, Enriched Academic Excellence, Diverse Community, and Family Commitment.

So, how does diversity and inclusion benefit our students? Scientific American published an article, “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter,” which simply stated “being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent, and harder-working.”  We become more empathetic, better problem solvers, and, “if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity."

Since its founding in 1999, Trinity has worked hard to build a diverse and inclusive community—one that is strengthened by our similarities and differences, and where the dignity of every member within our community is respected.  The School intentionally honors its commitment to diversity and inclusion through institutional policies, a curriculum that integrates multiculturalism, ideals of equity and justice, professional development for faculty and staff, programs, community service, and chapel.

While we have made great strides, Trinity can build on its good work by adopting a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion that is consistent with the School’s overall strategic work.  This plan must reflect Trinity’s mission and core values while holding us accountable for achieving our goals.

The development of this Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan is the result of several key steps.  First, the board of trustees created a Diversity Task Force, led by co-chairs Victor Alcorta and Darlene Owens, to explore diversity and inclusion at Trinity.  Next, we conducted the NAIS Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) survey to gauge our current diversity-and-inclusion climate.  Then, we formed a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee consisting of the Diversity Task Force and additional parents, faculty, administrative leaders, and trustees.  The Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee spent a full day with Robert Greene, a consultant with Jones Inclusive Leadership Group, who facilitated the session.  The committee identified three areas of strategic focus: Communication, Cultural Competency Skill Development, and Faculty and Staff Hiring.  All three topics are interconnected and essential to enhancing the quality of the Trinity experience for all and positively impacting the retention and recruitment of diverse students, families, faculty, and staff.

Diversity and Inclusion Goals: 

Goal 1 - Communication: Create a dynamic communication plan to highlight the synergy between Episcopal Identity and Diversity and Inclusion.

Strategies:

  • Define, name, and claim, both the visible and invisible elements of Episcopal Identity.
  • Develop clear and consistent language in conjunction with the school’s overall strategic plan around Trinity’s Episcopal Identity and how it drives all that we do as an Episcopal school.
  • Collect stories by leveraging existing and alumni families from all demographic groups to tell their Trinity story and why diversity and inclusion is so important.
  • Develop a concise and strong message about why diversity and inclusion is a vital element of Trinity’s Episcopal Identity.
  • Identify a large number of messengers and equip them with the concise and powerful message.
  • Align our diversity and inclusion message from first contact with Admission all the way through to graduation.
  • Review and revise content related to diversity and Episcopal Identity on Trinity’s website and printed materials for consistency.
  • Design new ways of efficient communication, internal and external, with one consistent voice that integrates Episcopal Identity in everything we do.
  • Highlight our commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as Trinity’s other core values to communicate their connection and why they are all essential to high-quality student outcomes.
  • Continue to develop and refine our outreach and marketing strategies.

Goal 2 - Cultural Competency Skill Development: Identify, define, and develop the skills needed to create classroom environments and curricula in which multiple perspectives, experiences, and a broad diversity of people are represented.

Strategies:

  • Develop curricula in which multiple perspectives, experiences, and diverse people are represented to prepare students to navigate, collaborate, and lead in a diverse world.
  • Require cultural competence development for all employees and trustees.
  • Provide programming and experiences to encourage parent engagement in cultural competency.
  • Develop a scope and sequence for cultural competence development for faculty, staff, and trustees that highlights authentic respect for others.
  • Model listening and having difficult conversations.
  • Address the intent and impact of language in and out of the classroom.
  • Provide opportunities for faculty to share with colleagues their ideas and experiences in diversity and inclusion work in accordance with best practices.

Goal 3 - Faculty and Staff Hiring: Recruit, retain, and support faculty of the highest quality by emphasizing excellence and all aspects of diversity in all hiring decisions.

Strategies:

Recruitment:

  • Re-evaluate current hiring systems and continue to improve the recruitment and hiring process to increase the diversity of the faculty and staff.
  • Develop and build relationships between the Trinity community and local networks and organizations representing diverse constituencies.
  • Continue to monitor faculty and staff demographics.

Retention:

  • Evaluate and develop necessary systems that support the retention of a diverse faculty.
  • Survey current faculty to understand their Trinity experience in order to improve our practices by building on success and addressing concerns.
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