Leadership Opportunity: Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
North Hollywood, California
July 1, 2021 Start
At Oakwood, we seek to create a vibrant public life in the school, where students learn to express themselves fluently and responsibly and to consider differing perspectives respectfully. We believe that an environment most conducive to learning and growth is diverse and inclusive.
-- from Oakwood's Statement of Philosophy
Oakwood School, a K-12 coeducational day school in North Hollywood, California, seeks an experienced and collaborative leader to be its next Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (“DEIB”). The Director of DEIB at Oakwood will be able to build upon deep work in a school that is already well engaged on the journey towards true belonging for all community members. The Director will build upon past institutional efforts and lead the overall mission to make Oakwood a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community for all students, families, teachers, staff, trustees, and alumni.
Reporting to the Head of School as a full member of the Senior Administration Team, the Director will act as a resource, strategic planner, and guide to address current issues and help the school articulate long-range goals and vision for DEIB in many areas of the school community. This person will work closely with the principals and administrators of the Elementary, Middle, and High Schools in a collaborative spirit that encourages commitment and buy-in from all constituents creating a community of belonging. The Director of DEIB will lead in the creation of a shared vision that expresses how we hope to grow as a school around DEIB and will nurture relationships throughout the school community to ensure understanding and support of this vision.
Strategic Priorities/Opportunitiesfor the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging include:
Working in partnership with all Oakwood constituents to develop a shared vision to integrate DEIB principles throughout all aspects of the program in order to create a more diverse and equitable environment where all members of the community feel like they belong
Supporting and expanding the Board’s understanding of equity and diversity through a culture of continuing education and growth
Clearly communicating DEIB values/goals/work with the community through in-person school events and workshops, and social media posts and online messaging
Implementing expectations for DEIB skills for faculty, staff, and administration and establishing systems of accountability
Supporting faculty and staff in establishing a K-12 identity-focused and antiracist curriculum
Creating educational and social opportunities for the parent community, such as workshops and affinity group gatherings, to increase parent engagement & involvement in DEIB work
Leveraging the results of an upcoming equity audit to help set goals, programs, and professional development
An overarching responsibility of the Director of DEIB is to act as a thought partner for the Head of School and other members of the Senior Administration Team to create and implement a mission-aligned vision for the community and educational experiences related to DEIB. In general, this vision involves at least three key areas: education and curriculum; administration; and community.
Educational and Curriculum
In partnership with the Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals and key administrators, the Director of DEIB will:
Lead the development and implementation of policies, procedures, and programs that sustain and further develop cultural competency skills in our students in pursuit of creating a more diverse and equitable community where all students feel that they belong;
Ensure that the school’s curriculum and instruction delivers culturally aware and anti-racist content and culturally responsive pedagogy;
Collaborate on diversity, equity and belonging related issues that are particular to each division and germane to the school at large;
Partner with the Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to help create, develop and foster a K-12 DEIB vision and strategy, and
In collaboration with HS and MS Deans of Students, lead and grow cross-cultural and identity-based student programming such as Diversity Week and Advisory programming.
Work with the Admissions Office to continue recruiting a diverse and inclusive student and family body;
Assist in recruiting, hiring, mentoring, and retaining faculty and staff of historically marginalized identities, who reflect and support a diverse and belonging school community;
Drive and implement new initiatives, advise on, and oversee the faculty and staff professional development efforts related to diversity, equity, and belonging, and
Overseeing data collection and analysis, as well as assessment and evaluation of institutional progress on strategic priorities as they relate to DEIB.
Provide the full Oakwood community with information and insight into curricular and community work around diversity, equity, and belonging instruction and community programs;
Develop policies and programs that deliver equity and foster inclusivity for all members of the community;
Serve as a resource and leader for the community with matters of diversity, equity, belonging, and multicultural practices and communication;
Guide the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collaborative group (students, alumni, trustees, parents, administrators), and lead group meetings;
Select and onboard members of the Parent Organization Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (PODEI) Committee;
Align strategic objectives and coordinate the efforts of representative leadership of PODEI, meetings, and grade-level parent/guardian DEI ambassadors;
Partner with the PODEI Committee to host the Voices Envisioned series, and communicate the program’s mission to the Oakwood community;
As a member of the Board of Trustees’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (along with the Associate Director of DEI), provide administrative perspective of DEIB work “on the ground;”
Model encouragement and compassion for all members of the Oakwood community recognizing that each individual occupies a different location in her/his/their journey, and
Perform additional duties as assigned
Priority Application Due Date: February 25, 2021
Semifinalist Interviews: March 1-5, 2021
Finalist Interviews: March 15-19, 2021
Announcement: April 5, 2021
Qualities of the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
Oakwood’s Director of DEIB will be an experienced and collaborative leader who will act as a resource, strategic planner, and guide to address current issues and help the school articulate long-range goals in areas related to all forms of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. This person must possess the ability to work collegially with multiple constituencies, a progressive and innovative mindset, and a sense of humor.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
Master’s Degree and/or DEI Certification desirable, a Bachelor’s Degree is required.
Minimum of five (5) years of administrative experience leading DEIB work at the K-12 level
Participation in in-depth training in DEIB and multicultural practices at nationally recognized seminars and workshops
Strategic thinking skills with a record of accomplishment in the implementation of effective and sustainable educational, cultural, and social programs in DEIB in school settings
Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, allowing one to work effectively with colleagues and constituents, solve problems and represent Oakwood in the broader community
Strong oral and written communication skills, including public speaking and leading workshops
Demonstrated capacity for data-driven decision making
A systems orientation to program development grounded in proven practices
Strong organizational skills needed to interface with several academic and non-academic departments
Knowledge of independent schools is preferred
Oakwood is committed to fostering an inclusive academic and social environment where every member of our community is valued and feels a sense of belonging. We continuously strive to create a trusting, respectful, and inclusive learning environment and culture, inside and outside the classroom, where students feel confident to express and develop their own voice, values, and gifts.
Rather than following, Oakwood is determined to lead and to be a model for other schools to emulate. To date, our leadership team in collaboration with the entire community has launched thoughtful and intentional initiatives designed to engage students, families, faculty, administrators and board members in topics centered around building equity and belonging. These include:
establishing the Parent Org DEI group, which has built a robust group of DEI parent ambassadors at each grade level to lead DEI book groups and discussions to engage and educate the parent body specifically around issues of identity, racial justice, white supremacy, and anti-racist practices
creating the DEI collaborative working group which convened this year, meets regularly, and brings together parents, faculty, staff, administrators, board members, student representatives, and alumni to clarify goals, reflect, and plan action steps for the community to increase equitable practices in every area of our school community.
providing exceptional educational and professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, parents and students, including speakers and workshops with the likes of Joy Degruy, Robin DiAngelo, Patrisse Cullors, Debby Irving, and Ibram X Kendi
adopting Pollyanna Racial Literacy Curriculum K-8 and developing and requiring the Equity and Racial Literacy class for seventh-grade students entering secondary school which asks the essential question: How do we create and maintain an inclusive community at Oakwood?
performing an equity audit to identify strategic opportunities for community growth.
We invite you to explore our website for additional information about our programs and resources.
Oakwood School is a K-12 coeducational day school in North Hollywood, California that opened its doors in
The school has remained faithful to its original mission ever since: “to create a diverse educational
environment where young people are partners with the adults who teach them and learn from them; where
the best means of preparing students for the future is to immerse them in the present; where a healthy
learning environment requires joy and humor as well as rigorous intensity; and where students’ intellectual
and aesthetic depth – along with their capacity for empathy and moral courage – emerge out of authentic
engagement with their teachers, one another, and the world around them.”
Oakwood Diversity Statement (pending adoption by Board of Trustees on March 3, 2021)
Oakwood School pledges our pursuit of excellence by intentionally fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
With purpose, Oakwood celebrates and affirms diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, faith, family structure, socioeconomic background, and ability.
We also recognize the continued need for growth as an institution, so that Oakwood—its board, faculty, staff, administration, student body, and families—may better represent the diversity of Los Angeles while better supporting equitable and inclusive practices and policies for all.
This ongoing commitment includes denouncing all forms of White supremacy, systemic racism, patriarchal oppression, and class discrimination while empowering our community to do the same.
We uphold the importance of intersectionality in our approach and we hold space for prioritizing pressing and timely issues so we can engage with an ever-changing world.
Within this questioning and consideration of school and society, we acknowledge temporary discomfort as a possible reaction, and endorse the examination of our interpersonal and internalized biases as its most effective cure.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to creating an educational experience within a school community and learning environment that balances the intellectual, emotional, and social growth of children, allowing us all to learn how to honor the dignity and experience of every human being.
Oakwood began in the hearts and minds of a small group of parents who had three things in common: 1) one or more of their children attended the same nursery school; 2) they were equally disturbed by post-war overcrowding in the public schools; and 3) they disagreed about almost everything else! In 1950, these families decided to open their school in one family’s backyard, and shortly thereafter, they moved the school to an abandoned religious building on Chandler Boulevard. From these humble beginnings, Oakwood has grown to become a K-12 co-educational independent day school on two campuses, where young people prosper in thought and imagination, in competence and character, as individuals and as members of a school community.
At all ages and in every discipline, the Oakwood program is intentional and builds on itself. Students at Oakwood value a curriculum that is less test-driven and more experiential. The program is rich in the arts, sciences, and Humanities and challenging to a student’s creative, intellectual, and physical capacities. An active communal life, intellectual attainment, and increasing autonomy “for one another, for the environment, and for the larger world” are goals once put forth by Oakwood’s founders that remain in place today.
At all grade levels, parents speak of Oakwood’s commitment to service. The habit of service and the lifelong commitment to social justice often find their origins in the Elementary School and are then confirmed in the affinity groups, alliances, interest groups, and clubs at the Secondary Campus. Oakwood Students for Progressive Reform (OSPR), Rainbow Alliance, Gender Equality Club, Sustainability Working Group, International Thespian Society, Gardening Club, and more - the list is seemingly endless for all of these organizations because they are easy to create, are student-generated, and address the issues of the day.
The Faculty and Staff
Oakwood’s teachers and staff are talented, dedicated and devoted to the school. They play a key role in guiding students through their academic and social lives during their time at Oakwood. Faculty and staff provide personalized support and give positive encouragement every single day and are true to the school’s philosophical underpinnings – individual growth, active communal life, autonomy and responsibility, fostering a sense of community – while providing a first-rate, competitive academic program that is marked by innovative curricula and sound pedagogy.
Oakwood spans two separate campuses: The Elementary Campus (grades K-6) and the Secondary Campus (grades 7-12). The Elementary Campus is a three-acre oasis in the urban landscape. Spacious and inviting, it sits adjacent to a public park, and reflects an industriousness and joyous spirit. With its Story Center, a central play yard, science labs and studios for art, music, and drama, it is an ideal locale for a child to grow in wisdom and in confidence.
Two miles north of The Elementary Campus is the sprawling seven-acre Secondary Campus. The site comprises an eclectic array of modern and traditional buildings on a north and south campus joined by a modern pedestrian bridge designed by a renowned architect and Oakwood alumni parent. In addition to these spaces for engaging in academic and artistic endeavors, the campus includes the “old senior lot” (which really was a parking lot for seniors many years ago, and the name just stuck). Here, students congregate and socialize and enjoy lunch, and outdoor student events. Scheduled to open in the spring of 2021, a new 1,800 square foot state-of-the-art kitchen, servery, and indoor/outdoor dining area will be an inviting place for meals and hosting gatherings, and will provide meals for both secondary and elementary students and faculty/staff beginning in the fall of 2021.
Los Angeles itself is the backdrop to Oakwood. A vast, sprawling, polyglot city of neighborhoods with people from every corner of the earth, every language and cuisine imaginable, it is a city with cultural opportunities too vast to enumerate, world-class universities and top-flight professional sports teams, to say nothing of the entertainment industry whose writers, actors, producers, composers, and executives send so many children to this particular school.
Total enrollment for Fall 2020: 800 students
Grades K-5: Approximately 42 students per grade
Grade 6: 48 students
Grades 7-8: Approximately 80 students per grade
Grades 9-12: Approximately 90 students per grade
Students of Color, Grades 7-12: 42%
Students of Color, Grades, K-6: 36%
Total Faculty/Staff: 201
Faculty-Student Ratio: 1:8
Average Length of Faculty Tenure: 12.2 years
Faculty/Staff of Color: 32%
Financial assistance: 17% of K-12 students receiving aid
Financial assistance budget: $4.5 million
Procedure to Apply
Oakwood School is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, age, national origin, ethnic, background, disability or any other characteristic protected by law. The successful candidate will receive a compensation package that includes a highly competitive salary plus generous health and retirement benefits.
Cover letter expressing interest in the Oakwood School Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging position
Statement of educational philosophy and practice which expresses who you are and how you connect to this work (no more than 2 pages)
List of three references including name, title, phone number, email address, and professional relationship (references are contacted only with the candidate's permission)
Please email any questions to email@example.com or by phone to Orpheus Crutchfield at (510) 685-0861.
Additional Salary Information: Benefits
About Oakwood School
Oakwood School is a K-12 coeducational day school in North Hollywood, California that opened its doors in 1951. The school has remained faithful to its original mission ever since: to create a diverse educational environment where young people are partners with the adults who teach them and learn from them; where the best means of preparing students for the future is to immerse them in the present; where a healthy learning environment requires joy and humor as well as rigorous intensity; and where students’ intellectual and aesthetic depth – along with their capacity for empathy and moral courage – emerge out of authentic engagement with their teachers, one another, and the world around them.