In terms of the work, the guiding objective is clear: deepen our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and ensure it is reflected in our policies, programs, and practices and in the life and culture of the MPA community.
Through our three named priorities, Building Capacity, Culture of Belonging, and Radical Accountability, we have goals in place and strategies to help us achieve them as benchmarks of the work. By sustaining and advancing the commitment to the work, we aim to identify and establish what is needed to propel our DEIB commitment forward at MPA, center the MPA experience to be one that embraces individual and collective authenticity, and establish mechanisms that ensure we take ownership of our commitments and actions related to DEIB.
Student Affinity Groups are safe, voluntary spaces for students who share a common identity to uplift the experience of students in a way that affirms their identity while creating a means for students to take action in bringing forth issues and challenges that may threaten their sense of belonging and success at MPA. Current affinity groups include:
- Grades 7-8 BIPOC Affinity Group
- Upper School BIPOC Affinity Group
Student clubs and groups at MPA are student-initiated and student-lead. Any student who has a passion for a topic and wishes to start a club is welcome to do so. All that is required is a conversation with MPA leadership and a faculty/staff advisor.
- Asian Awareness Club (Upper School)
- Social Consciousness Club (Upper School)
- Black Student Union (Middle and Upper School)
- Gender Sexuality Action Club (Upper School)
- Asian Culture Club (Upper School)
- Women’s Empowerment Club (Upper School)
- Gender and Sexualities Alliance (Middle School)
- Social Change Club (Middle School)
A limited number of students in grades 9-12 are selected to attend, on behalf of MPA, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference sponsored by the National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS). This conference happens concurrently with the People of Color Conference (PoCC), attended by MPA faculty and staff, who also serve as chaperones for students attending SDLC.
Employee Affinity Groups are designated "brave spaces" where individuals with a common identity (ex. race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, family structure, etc.) can come together and speak to their experience from the “I” perspective. A sense of belonging is a required component of building a multicultural workplace that uplifts and affirms all our employees. Current affinity groups include:
- Faith Found Fellowship
MPA is committed to providing employees with various opportunities to support their professional and personal growth in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Examples of past topics include:
- Gender identity and sexuality
- Culturally Responsive Teaching
- Restorative Justice
Employees also have access to professional development funds each year to engage in conferences, workshops, or other opportunities outside of MPA.
The goal of the committee is to advance MPA’s commitment to being an antiracist community so that all members of the community are seen, valued, and respected by supporting the implementation of key diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging strategies.
Each year, MPA sends a group of faculty to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (PoCC). The mission of the conference is to provide a safe space for leadership, professional development, and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools.
A standing committee within MPA’s Board of Trustees ensures that the board has in place policies and procedures that promote the principles of equity and justice across the entire institution, in keeping with our missions and values. The committee provides support and counsel to the director of equity and belonging and ensures alignment with MPA’s strategic plan.
The mission of the Mounds Park Academy Parents Association is to enrich the MPA experience through inclusive community building, continuing and building traditions, supporting faculty and staff, and acting as a resource for connecting all families. In 2022, the Parents Association formed the DEI Committee to develop goals that will ensure greater representation and engagement of MPA families within the association and support MPA’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging strategic goals.
Affinity Groups help foster a sense of belonging by providing a space for parents and caregivers whose voices have traditionally been underrepresented or marginalized to connect through shared experience and shared identity. Marginalized communities are those that include people who have been historically denied full participation in dominant and/or mainstream cultural activities and discourse. Our goal with parent affinity groups is to offer group members affirmation, support, and a vehicle for advocacy. Current affinity groups include:
MPA’s Alumni Association Board established a leadership position to lead the new antiracist subcommittee. The subcommittee focuses on increasing BIPOC alumni engagement and involvement and increasing awareness of antiracism at MPA and within the broader community.