Inclusion requires treating individuals fairly and respectfully for who they are and creating a community where all can thrive.

Chatham Hall's Purple and Golden Rule is founded upon the expectations of mutual respect, consideration, and thoughtfulness.

This rule serves as the foundation of the school's policies regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, and holds all members of the Chatham Hall community accountable for their actions.

The information on this page details the school's committment to making Chatham Hall a safe and welcoming place to all girls.

We welcome your participation in this work, and we hope you will reach out to with your thoughts so that we may continue to move forward together.

Actions Taken

Action Steps Moving Forward

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Climate & Culture

    • A DEI Working Group comprised of representatives from all constituencies - students, faculty, parents, trustees, and alumnae - is being formed to support an authentically diverse populace at Chatham Hall and move us to become an actively anti-racist institution
    • Developing and introducing early and ongoing student education (starting with opening of school) related to our aspirations and commitment to be an inclusive, identity-safe school community and the behaviors that are and are not compatible with this, including explanations of what constitutes hate speech, harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying
    • Crafting and distributing clearer guidelines for appropriate student and adult language and conduct in order to ensure an anti-racist community
    • Clarifying and abiding by the consequences for violating these guidelines so that students and employees are consistently held accountable to our community standards, while allowing room for learning and growth i.e. restorative justice after a mistake/violation;
    • Developing and communicating a reporting mechanism for incidents of bias in the Chatham Hall community
    • Expanding our student leadership development program with a focus on community-building and respecting each Chatham Hall student and what they bring to our school
    • Continuing the DEI awareness education program initiated in 2019-2020 through our required programming such as chapel, speakers, class meetings, and all-community events, focusing on the variety of cultures/experiences we are fortunate to have at Chatham Hall
    • Initiating a review of our traditions and considering if they are still the most empowering for a diverse community in the 21st century or if they need refinement
    • Expanding understanding and support of affinity groups around identities such as race and LGBTQ+, and assisting these groups in celebrating their communities through educational programming and other activities
    • Creating policies to better support gender non-conforming or transgender students
    • Supporting our international students and their parents with appropriate programming and tracking that support through regular meetings and surveys
    • Conveying to students clearly and sensitively how to access mental health support, along with a mechanism for student feedback;
    • Communicating guidelines for our Student Counseling Office so students, parents, and staff understand protocols, roles and responsibilities related to issues such as confidentiality of student disclosures and parental rights
    • Creating and conducting two parent workshops/conversations per year associated with a topic of inclusion (such as race, adolescent mental health, socioeconomics, international perspectives, etc.)
    • Writing a larger five-year plan regarding specific goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.
  • Hiring & Retention of BIPOC Faculty & Staff

    • Committing to the recruitment, hiring and retention of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) faculty and administrators over the next five years
    • Establishing relationships and working with regional Historically Black Colleges and Universities and professional organizations dedicated to supporting educators of color in hiring processes
    • Building and maintaining a list of BIPOC candidates and diversity allies over time, and returning to that list for consideration of candidates and/or networking in the event of future openings
    • Conducting exit interviews with faculty members leaving Chatham Hall regarding their experiences with the school’s culture
  • Professional Development

    • Expanding the current required professional training in diversity and inclusion for all administration, faculty, and staff to include bi-annual in-service training, and regular education sessions at faculty meetings that examine specific inclusion issues, anti-bias training, and anti-racist training such that all faculty are equipped - and expected - to address incidents involving such behavior
    • Annual DEI education and training for Chatham Hall trustees as well as an expansion of new trustee orientation to focus on the school’s DEI commitment
    • Conducting the second part of training around implicit bias and adult sensitivity/conduct before school starts. (The first part of the training was conducted by our DEI consultant Trina Gary last August; part two had been anticipated this spring but was postponed due to the pandemic)
    • Expanding faculty/staff and student participation opportunities in the annual NAIS People of Color Conference
    • Crafting and executing a multi-year DEI summer professional development schedule for administrators, dorm advisors, and department chairs
    • Devising a new orientation and mentoring program for first year faculty that includes a diversity and inclusion component
    • Establishing and tracking expectations that faculty apply DEI training and practices, from representation in curriculum to the ability to have difficult DEI conversations with students and colleagues
    • Providing ongoing education for all faculty and staff, with additional training for advisors, dorm advisors, and counselors, around adolescent mental health. To begin, Lisa Damour, author of mandatory faculty summer book read Under Pressure, will be leading a faculty/staff workshop as part of the opening of school
Page last updated Jan. 13, 2021
An all girls boarding and day school in Southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers Advanced Placement courses, global study and travel, as well as project based learning. Our athletic teams regularly compete at the State level and our exceptional riding program is nationally recognized. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.  
800 Chatham Hall Circle | Chatham, VA 24531 | 434.432.2941 |