Diversity & Inclusion
Statement of Community
VES is an inclusive community that supports each student’s growth toward full stature. Our community brings together individuals with a range of perspectives, experiences, identities and backgrounds, and we deeply value how this diversity enriches academic discussions and student life experiences.
VES leaders and faculty are committed to:
- Creating a place where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds.
- Encouraging students to discover their unique identities.
- Ensuring equitable opportunities for all people in the VES community.
- Guiding students to develop empathy and understanding of other people, to express and discuss diverse perspectives in a respectful way, and to affirm the dignity and worth of those around them.
These efforts align with the commitment expressed in the Portrait of a VES Graduate: to shape young adults who are self-aware, curious learners; engaged citizens and mindful leaders, who serve with courage and compassion in our dynamic, multicultural world.
The VES Statement of Community is informed by the National Association of Episcopal Schools' (NAES) definition of Episcopal Identity and Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice in Episcopal Schools as well as the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Principles of Equity and Justice.
Guidance, Enrichment Opportunities & Partnerships
- DEI initiatives are grounded in our Statement of Community and informed by our Strategic Plan and our Faculty and Student Diversity Committee and Diversity Steering Committee.
- In 2017, our VES community participated in the NAIS Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism. The community will engage in this work again in the spring of 2022. Outcomes from this assessment also guide our work.
- Throughout each year, we host student-led events that celebrate the diversity of our community. See a listing below.
- Alliance groups and clubs for students are an important component of our commitment to DEI. See the organizations below.
- Faculty attend the NAIS People of Color Conference annually. Beginning in 2021, students also will join in conference sessions.
- VES offers enrichment and professional development for the board, faculty, students, and alumni. Partners we work with include the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and Fearless Dialogues.
Community Events Celebrating Diversity
Among many cultural celebrations, VES annually highlights:
- Festival of Flags—Our Opening-of-School Tradition
- GLAAD Spirit Day
- Indigenous Peoples’ Day
- Chinese New Year
- Martin Luther King Day
- Black History Month
- International Women's Day
- International Exposition Day