Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging

Our school is committed to the work of justice and equity.

Social justice, equity, inclusion, and belonging are woven into the fabric of who we are and what we do.

The Ethel Walker School is committed to the work of justice and equity which is implemented throughout all facets of school life as we strive to be a model institution for this work. Through our strategic initiatives, senior leadership, course content, and intentional focus, Walker’s strives to be a community where every person can experience belonging and have what they need to thrive in our community.

The Ward and Williams Center for Equity and Justice

Ward and Williams Center for Equity and Justice
Elisa Del Valle, Assistant Head for Student Life and Director of Social Justice; Donna Williams ’71; and Dr. Meera Viswanathan, Head of School, at the dedication of the Center.

In 2021, as part of our celebration of diversity at Walker’s and marking 50 years of Black alumnae, The Ward and Williams Center for Equity and Justice was opened in the heart of Beaver Brook, named for our first two Black graduates from the Class of 1971: Cassandra “Casey” Ward and Donna Williams. 

The Center provides a space for students and adults to gather in a wide variety of ways, both formally and informally. As part of our Social Justice programming, it houses resources, archival information, and the offices of our Assistant Head for Student Life and Director of Social Justice. In honor of their 50th Reunion, the Class of 1971 made a collective gift to support the work of this Center in perpetuity to sustain a lasting impact on their alma mater. 

programming and events hosted by the ward and williams center

  • SPHERE Diversity Director Meetings
  • CAIS Commission on Diversity for Independent Schools Retreat and Meetings
  • Club Meetings
  • Weekly BIPOC Faculty and Staff Lunches
  • Totem Pole Community Dialogue
  • Passover Lunch
  • Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony
  • MLK Day Microaggression Workshops
  • Middle School Gender Identity Workshops
  • Lunar New Year Celebrations
  • WINGS Language and Pronoun Presentation


Middle School Social Justice Seminar is rooted in building communities of belonging, as students work to understand identity and stereotypes through introspection and perspective. Students explore the many ways identity is formed by reflecting on their own identities, assumptions, stereotypes, prejudice, and bias in the world.

In this course students explore their own identities and think about the ways identity impacts their perspective and their interactions with others. The curriculum examines social systems and concepts that provide advantages to some social identity groups while restricting access and opportunity to others. Specifically, there is an examination of the ways that socialization affects us and one another in the pursuit of justice and community. The class concludes the term addressing the ways that we can each take action within our own spheres of influence to create positive social change.

This History elective introduces juniors and seniors to systems of social inequality in the United States as they investigate the structural, interpersonal, and social dimensions of oppression. Course materials explore the ways that sexism, heterosexism, and racism have developed over time as well as the ways they impact each of us everyday. Students develop the language, tools, and skills to create positive social change.

Conferences and Events

As a commitment to learning and growing in Justice and Equity work, Walker’s students are encouraged and supported in their attendance at conferences, community gatherings, panels, webinars, and trainings. This attendance contributes to an advancement in understanding and sharing of critical information that guides and complements the work of course materials, affinity groups, and is critical in work with students towards their growth and solidarity with others in Justice and Equity work.

Student Conferences

  • NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference
  • SPHERE Student of Color Summit
  • Jumoke’s Middle School Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Oratory Contest
  • CAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference
  • Community GAYme Nights
  • The Young Women of Color Conference (Walker’s, Choate, Miss Porter’s School and Loomis Chaffee)

Faculty and Staff Conferences

  • NAIS People of Color Conference
  • Anti-Defamation League Bias and Hate Incident Training
  • RE-Center: Race and Equity in Education, Equity in Practice Training
  • Think Again Training
  • Kingswood Oxford Leadership Institute for Educators of Color

Social Justice, Equity, and InclusionElisa Cardona Conference