About

Inclusion

"We must respond to the impatient echoes for justice and inclusion that have been reverberating throughout our country and the world. Racial justice has been elusive for centuries. It is essential to acknowledge that during the more than five hundred years of colonialism and four hundred years since the first slaves arrived from Africa, many educators have looked the other way, pretending to be immune from biases and racism that for too long were unaddressed." —Headmaster Temba Maqubela
Groton School is committed to inclusion—to having a diverse student body and to providing the support needed so that all have equal access to success at Groton. The school believes it can best fight racism through education.

The school recognizes the need to examine engrained institutional biases and to educate everyone on the Circle about hidden prejudices and the ethical imperative to stand up for others. Headmaster Temba Maqubela has always chosen action over rhetoric, and he has helped the school make noteworthy strides toward true inclusion.

GRAIN

GRAIN (GRoton Affordability and INclusion) solidified the school's commitment to an open Circle. It ensured that all deserving applicants, regardless of background or financial standing, have equal access to a Groton education. GRAIN also froze tuition for three years and kicked off deep determination by the Board of Trustees to keep costs under control.

GRAIN also placed special emphasis on the group Mr. Maqubela often calls “the talented missing middle.” Often assuming that they will not qualify for aid, these families are squeezed by burdensome loans at the college level and rarely think of independent schools like Groton. “How can independent school students have a real-world experience,” asks Mr. Maqubela, “if we omit the talent from an enormous socioeconomic group?”

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Groton School is committed to diversity and inclusivity with responsibility, mutual respect, and empathy. We strive to maintain a community in which every person feels welcomed, valued, and respected. We are dedicated to shared examination of our different perspectives, inherent privileges, disadvantages, and prejudices, especially in terms of race, religion, national origin, gender and sexuality, socioeconomic status, and political ideology. We believe this work is critical to preparing students to lead “lives of character, learning, leadership, and service." —Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement
Groton School intentionally welcomes students from a wide range of backgrounds, and many volunteer for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The group plans thought-provoking events and workshops and facilitates discussion, sometimes on difficult topics, that helps students live and learn together with respect for and celebration of our differences. Guest speakers, followed by small group discussions, challenge the community to think deeply.

Working with the student committee is the faculty Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which includes representatives from different academic departments, as well as the school chaplain, counselors, and dean of students.

List of 10 news stories.

  • Fall community gatherings included TED talks by Chimamanda Ngozi¬†Adichie and Drew Dudley

    Fall Community Gatherings Stress Leadership, Empathy, Open-Mindedness

    "Someone who prioritizes the success of those around them before their own."
    "Who brings out the best in others."
    "Who listens to learn."
    "A role model."
     
    These are a few qualities of a good leader in the eyes of Groton students, who shared observations on inclusive leadership during the school’s third community gathering of the fall term. 
     
    During the November 13 meeting, held via Zoom, students and faculty watched Drew Dudley’s “Leading with Lollipops” TED talk, then discussed their own “lollipop moments,” when they experienced or witnessed a seemingly small gesture with outsized impact—a moment that helped someone feel that they belonged. Participants also discussed a variety of prompts, including Dudley’s quote, saying, “As long as we make leadership something bigger than us, as long as we keep leadership something beyond us, as long as we make it about changing the world, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day from ourselves and from each other.” 
     
    The fall community gatherings—part of the school's Diversity & Inclusion initiative—were organized by dorm and split students into smaller breakout rooms for the deeper discussions. Sixth Formers led all the meetings, with dorm heads and affiliates also participating.​ The other programs this fall, on October 23 and September 17, followed a similar format. During the September kick-off meeting, students and faculty watched Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story” TED talk, which emphasizes the power of personal stories and the potential stereotypes have to thwart inclusion. 
     
    "Our community gatherings enable us to engage actively with our rich diversity​," said Director of Diversity & Inclusion Sravani Sen-Das. "Each conversation is built around our core values and aims to develop, through a series of dialogues, a shared commitment to upholding a respectful community where all feel a sense of belonging.​"​
     
    The October community gathering encouraged students to model vulnerability through storytelling, with a focus on the impending national election. Participants were asked to share a story that showed the impact of the upcoming election on their own relationships and well-being. They also discussed to whom they were turning for strength and hope, and how disappointment after the election might be viewed by some as a deep loss.
     
    "We,​ ​like most other schools, felt unprepared for the aftermath of the 2016 elections​," said Ms. Sen-Das​. ​"​This time ​around we wanted to prepare our community, through dialogue, to engage with each other and humanize the election and its impact on us and, by doing so, to emphasize our commitment to prioritizing relationships over opinions.​"​ 
     
    The pre-election discussion opened with a quote from Robert Jones Jr.: “We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”
     
    Leah Pothel '21, a head of the Diversity & Inclusion group, said the all-school programming was important "because it emphasized the school's commitment to D&I and all of the principles that it stands for. Centering this work sets a precedent in which the D&I norms become the baseline for all interactions at Groton, and hopefully these gatherings will cultivate a more respectful, empathetic, and understanding environment."

    Diversity & Inclusion programming will continue throughout the year. The final program of the fall term opened with a Maya Angelou quote—and a sentiment essential to all of Groton’s D&I programming. Said Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
     
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  • "Real American" Author Julie Lythcott-Haims Delivers Powerful, Personal MLK Day Speech

    Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of Real American and How to Raise an Adult, shared stories about growing up biracial in America, her struggles to overcome internalized racism, and her journey toward self-acceptance during a program at Groton School commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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  • Holocaust Survivor Shares Story of Fear, Hope, Determination

    Marion Blumenthal Lazan was just a girl when the Nazis took her and her family to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Northern Germany.
     
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  • An Evening of Provocative Discussion

    On the evening of Monday, April 2, students and faculty split into small groups for a Diversity & Inclusion community gathering, discussing a variety of important topics affecting society and the school community.
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  • Lessons from the Little Rock 9 Highlight MLK Commemoration

    It was 1957, three years after the Supreme Court had struck down school segregation in Brown vs. Board of Education, when about four hundred students at a black high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, volunteered to be among the first to integrate all-white Central High.
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  • Groton Graduates "Go Well," Prepared to Make a Difference

    “If each of you stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, you will make a difference. . . .
     
    “Go forth Form of 2016 and make a difference. We need you.”
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  • "Do Something About It!" Urges Author Wes Moore

    Best-selling author Wes Moore gave an impassioned lecture at Groton on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, channeling Dr. King’s belief in the power of action, rather than just conviction.
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  • Renowned Anti-Apartheid Activist and Jurist Albie Sachs Visits Groton

    Justice Albie Sachs spoke to a rapt crowd in the Campbell Performing Arts Center on April 22, describing Nelson Mandela—his comrade in the fight against apartheid—before he became famous and how the young lawyer and activist became South Africa’s first black president, revered worldwide.
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  • Emmett Till's Cousin Shares Firsthand Account of Murder that Fueled Civil Rights Movement

    In a gripping Martin Luther King, Jr. Day assembly, Wheeler Parker, Jr. spoke to the Groton community, describing the night in 1955 when two white men kidnapped his cousin, Emmett Till, from the Mississippi home where both boys were visiting relatives. Till was 14. His vicious murder is widely recognized as an important catalyst in the civil rights movement.
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  • Groton Headmaster Honored with Desmond Tutu Award

    South Africa Partners has announced that Groton Headmaster Temba Maqubela will receive its 2014 Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award.
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