Charles Wright Academy champions a school culture where “everyone knows they belong.”
Opportunities for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) engagement in our school community:
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Ms. Williams comes to CWA most recently from the Seattle Country Day School where she taught Spanish. Denise has held teaching roles with a variety of K-12 students while leading and coordinating DEIB work, and coaching cross-country running in independent schools such as Tabor Academy in Marion, MA, and Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, TX. Additionally, Ms. Williams and her partner co-founded and operate Engaging Across Difference, an organization that provides equity and inclusion training, life coaching, and counseling to individuals and organizations nationally. Her partner, Kimberlee Williams, is also a DEIB practitioner and the Director of Intercultural Affairs at The Bush School in Seattle. Ms. Williams holds a bachelor of arts in Spanish and Latin American studies from the College of the Holy Cross (MA) and a master of arts in Spanish Language and Literature from Middlebury College (VT).
When asked to elaborate on why she feels she is a good fit for this role at Charles Wright, Denise wrote, “As I read through Charles Wright Academy’s vision and mission, I was struck by its alignment to my own teaching philosophy. I believe that compassion, perseverance, and respect are the cornerstones of DEIB work. If we are to be successful, we must recognize and value differences. As we learn and experience different perspectives, we grow into more empathetic, compassionate, and courageous individuals. I am also a believer in the joys of learning. DEIB work does not have to be difficult. Infusing personal stories and humor into uncomfortable conversations make the work more enjoyable. It is my goal for students and adults to come away from a DEIB conversation feeling more empowered than before.”
CWA offers several alliance and affinity groups for students, families, and employees.
CWA partners with local independent schools to produce a Virtual Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series.
Upper School students have the opportunity to attend the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC).
Middle and Upper School Students have the opportunity to attend the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) annual Student Diversity Leadership Retreat (SDLR).
Upper School students can participate in the DEIB team.
Employees have opportunities for personal and professional development such as attending the People of Color Conference (POCC) and Teaching While White workshops.
Charles Wright Academy best exemplifies its mission and values when everyone knows they belong in our school community.
We embrace an intentional culture that champions everyone’s full participation as their authentic selves in all of the opportunities that comprise the Charles Wright experience. This includes supporting each community member’s understanding of their own identities and acceptance of the identities of others. By doing so, we empower everyone at Charles Wright to connect, learn, grow, and achieve.
The inclusive culture we strive for requires us to make both institutional and individual commitments. Institutionally, we will align policies, curriculum, and decision-making to this goal, and we commit to ongoing self-examination, learning, and action. We also encourage and support individuals to initiate and engage in candid, courageous conversations as this work is the responsibility of every member of our community.
– Adopted by the Board of Trustees, March 2020