RE's faculty participated in diversity, equity and inclusion training to start the 2018-19 year under Dr. Steven Jones, a highly regarded expert in the field. Dr. Jones challenged and engaged members of the RE community with a dynamic program built on the philosophy that diversity, equity and inclusion represent skillsets to be learned and mastered, not problems to be solved.
Jones tutored RE's faculty and administration on the importance of stepping outside their comfort zones and resolving to practice and implement new behaviors. Jones, who holds a PhD in organizational psychology from Alliant International University in San Diego, emphasized how critical diversity of thought is to any organization's success.
"This is work," he said. "It's a marathon, not a sprint.This is not something you do in a semester and you are done. This is not a checklist process; this is about the head, hands, heart and feet.... Being intentional and strategic is very, very important."
Jones's visit represented one piece of a yearlong commitment by the RE Board of Trustees to promote diversity and inclusion at Ransom Everglades. The board has adopted "inclusive excellence" as a strategic initiative and also will participate in a group training session with Jones in September. The effort has been spearheaded by Student Life Committee Chair Elizabeth Barash Murphy and Vice-Chair Elana Oberstein-Harris '93.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.