Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Embracing our values of integrity and compassion.
At Western Reserve Academy, we believe diversity, equity and inclusion are imperative and over-arching. These are critical lenses that help us understand the complexity and nuances of our students’ experiences, maximize the potential of each student, strengthen our ability to equip our students with the tools they need to succeed, and create an environment where every student's perspective and voice is valued and heard.
We understand that diversity of thought and experience is critical to sustaining and strengthening our values of excellence, integrity and compassion. We are committed to fostering experiences in all aspects of life at Reserve — programmatic, academic, residential and more — in support of this. In doing this, we hope every student feels a profound and sincere sense of belonging and knows without doubt that here, they can flourish.
We recognize there is a gap between what we aspire to do and our current state. Together, we are working to bridge that gap. Institutionally, we approach this work from a place of humility; as we make progress, we realize we will likely make mistakes and constantly learn. Given our passion and steadfast commitment, we are confident our words and actions will and indeed must continue to evolve. This is an ever-important journey, another step forward with hope and purpose ever top of mind.
Meet our Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Western Reserve Academy is excited to announced the appointment of Dr. James Greenwood as Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Western Reserve Academy. Dr. Greenwood brings with him a deep and rich history working in independent schools. Most recently, he served as the Dean of Equity and Inclusion at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Dr. Greenwood graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in American Studies with a concentration in African and African American Studies. He currently serves on Kenyon's alumni board. He holds a Master of Arts in teaching from Brown University and a Masters of Education from Columbia University. This spring he earned his Doctorate in Education from Boston College where his dissertation studied how teachers develop their culturally responsive practice.
Meet our Interim Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Western Reserve Academy is proud to name English Department faculty member Brandi Wheeler the Interim Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
In her new role, Brandi joins the Executive Team for the school, and her office will be in the Student Life Office suite in Wilson Hall. She will continue to teach her electives, African American Fiction and African American Nonfiction, in Seymour Hall's English wing.
I have been a member of the WRA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee since 2018. Working with this group has fueled my passion to see that all students at this school feel they are respected, included, welcomed and celebrated.
- Brandi Wheeler
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee is dedicated to ensuring respect, appreciation and celebration of the composition of our community. Reserve's student population is incredibly diverse — not just in terms of race — and our DEI Committee is committed to working with members of the WRA community to make sure we examine how all aspects of Reserve function through a DEI lens, informing how we teach, how we resolve conflicts and more.
Meet our DEI Committee Members
Programs and InitiativesRace Space was founded by History Chair Dr. Lisabeth Robinson and is an invitation to all students to attend and participate in an open and honest discussion about race. Through Race Space, students have met to discuss relevant and pressing topics such as race and language, racial violence, racism in sports and more.
WRA's Lean In Chapter is an active and supportive organization that invites students to come together to share and discuss knowledge, wisdom, concerns and stor
The Student DEI Committee is an engaged and committed group of students who work to facilitate communication between students and school, as well as advise and offer personal perspective on DEI decisions. As members of the Student DEI Committee, they receive training in DEI work so that they may act as a liaison between students and faculty to share questions, concerns and issues. Our Student DEI Committee members are Teliyah Davis, Norah Woods, Vivien Marmerstein, Taylor Harper, Ela Mody, Jimena Oliva, Camille Wheeler, Gunnar Gray, Nathan Philips, Broden Windsor, Hunter Amos, Angela Mi, Rachel Ott and Mykal Sims-Bailey.
Below we have listed some of our student-led organizations who host events, spread awareness and create an inclusive and celebratory environment in support of diversity. Part of the Reserve experience is learning about new customs, traditions and various holidays, either from the efforts of our students groups or other community members. There is always opportunity for our students to broaden our offerings with new ideas, events and organizations. Please feel free contact the DEI Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any new ideas, new events or new affinity groups you'd like to see on campus.
Black Student Union brings our Students of Color together, with special regard to our black students and students of African descent, for connection, discussion and celebration. Their events can include anything from visiting Head of School Suzanne Buck at Pierce House for a fireside chat, curating and leading the Morning Meeting program on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, hosting BSU mixers in the Green Key and more.
GSA stands for Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and this student-led organization provides a safe, supportive, welcoming and celebratory environment for LGBTQA+ students, as well as their cisgender, heterosexual allies. GSA hosts events like Cabaret and Broadway Backwards and has sponsored alumni speakers at special Safe Space events.
Mandarin Club offers WRA students the opportunity to learn more about and celebrate Chinese culture, as well as actively participate in one of the biggest events of the school year. The Lunar New Year Concert is one of the most popular performances and is organized by the Mandarin Club. Any student can perform in honor of one of the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar.
All are welcome to join Desi Club, which celebrates people from across the South Asian diaspora. Club members plan annual celebrations for festivals like Diwali and Holi, and they are committed to spreading awareness of Indian traditions and cultures.