Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

You'll Have a Seat at the Table

We continually work to ensure that every student at Sonoma Academy thrives. We are conscious of the fact that thriving school requires a strong sense of belonging so that those with less privilege and power have an equal sense of ownership and pride in their education and community, as those who have more privilege and power due to aspects of their identity like class, race, gender, and more. Sonoma Academy commits to staying steadfast in its commitment to ensuring our mission is being delivered to all students, not just some. To do so, we must always be willing to consider what we do not know, listen with openness and humility, and engage our community in meaningful conversations. 
While the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is the work of the entire community, we have key working groups that are responsible for implementing DEI initiatives, practices, and procedures to ensure we are always investigating and advancing equity and inclusion so that we can welcome an increasingly diverse student and staffulty body with empathy, openness, knowledge, and awareness.
The DEI Task Force
Comprised of a cross-sectional team of administrators and faculty, the DEI Task Force meets regularly to:
  • Identify areas of community growth and blind spots
  • Develop and implement appropriate responses and solutions
  • Support and/or facilitate Named Scholars events as needed
  • Act as facilitators for student and staffulty forums as needed
  • Serve as a space for connection and sharing

Defining Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Our Task Force uses the following working definitions of the terms:
Diversity: Diversity relates to differences in those aspects of identity that impact the social experiences—including perception, status, privilege, opportunity, access to resources—of groups of people within a community. “Diversity” includes dominant and majority groups, without whom there would be no perceived and/or experienced “norm.”

In other words, Diversity = Representation, and suggests that we explore whether our school population represents our community and whether our students see themselves in our faculty and staff.
Equity: Equity is about equalizing the ability to thrive; recognizing and addressing unfair cultural and institutional biases and discrimination.
In other words, Equity = Fairness, and suggests that we ask ourselves: How do we ensure that all members of our community enjoy equal access to opportunity, resources, and information?
Inclusion: Inclusion is how a group creates an environment in which diverse members share a sense of belonging, mutual respect, and being valued for who they are. It is the supportive energy and commitment from others so that these groups can do their best work.

DEI Groups & Committees

The DEI Working Group
The DEI working group is comprised of a small group of staffulty and meets regularly through the year with the purpose of iterating and deploying the inclusion survey each year, and producing the corresponding report. This group continues to consider how we use data to stay accountable to our DEI goals, and track our progress towards improvement as an institution. 

Board of Trustees DEI Committee
Comprised of a small group of Trustees and a staffulty member, this committee is responsible for:
  • Ensuring that DEI is a strategic, institutional priority
  • Collaborating with DEI Director and Task Force to implement key initiatives
Sonoma Academy Parent Association (SAPA) DEI Committee
Comprised of parent volunteers, this committee:
  • Works with the parent community on education around DEI issues
  • Creates opportunities for meaningful DEI engagement work for parents
  • Ensures a welcoming and inclusive parent community through outreach, social activities, and more
Queer Straight Alliance (QSA)
The mission of QSA is to make Sonoma Academy a safer and more accommodating school for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions. We raise awareness through campus education initiatives and direct action while raising money to support organizations that share our goals in the wider community. We provide a fun and accepting social space for LGBTQ students and their allies to strengthen relationships, learn from each other and explore LGBTQ topics and concerns. Ongoing projects include the Queery Question and Answer Forum, "genderbread" cookie sale during winter exam week and annual participation in the National Day of Silence.

Affinity Groups (Students and Staffulty)
The purpose of affinity groups for both students and staffulty is to provide brave spaces where  a group of people united by a shared interest or identifying marker can gather to share and celebrate their shared identity or interest.

At Sonoma Academy the following affinity groups are led by students: Asian Affinity Group, Black Student Union, Jewish Affinity Group, Multiracial/Multiethnic People of Color Affinity Group, LatinX Affinity Group, LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, and the Trans Affinity Group.

For staffulty, the groups are: Staffulty of Color Affinity Group, White Anti-Racist Affinity Group, and LGBTQIA+ Affinity group.

If students or staffulty are interested in creating and leading an affinity group, they can contact the DEI Director to learn more about affinity group leadership and facilitation preparation and training. 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Mission

We believe that learning occurs best in a connected community. Diversity, equity, and inclusivity are essential to an education in which all members of our community thrive. We are committed to cultivating a diverse community that is conscious and welcoming of difference, dedicated to investigating and advancing equity, and engages with our local and global community. 
    • The 2021-22 DEI Student Advisory

Inclusion Survey and Report

The Sonoma Academy Inclusion Survey was designed and deployed to help the school explore the student body’s sense of belonging and inclusion. We collected demographic data of respondents in order to assess whether various aspects of identity impacted student responses. Some aspects of identity did not demonstrate noticeable differences in responses while others did. 

The inclusion survey is a yearly activity and as we continue to collect data, we will share it with the community in an effort to create a culture of data literacy and transparency.
2500 Farmers Lane 
Santa Rosa, CA 95404 
(707) 545-1770 

Sonoma Academy Is...

...the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.

Sonoma Academy admits students of any race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, citizenship, gender or gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or disability, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, citizenship, gender or gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and tuition assistance programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.