Social Justice

Be a voice for change
and belonging.

At Walker’s, we create and sustain communities where every student experiences belonging.

Students are a crucial voice who shape and drive our work forward. We center student experience with their multiple social identities in order to prepare them for full and intentional lives within and beyond Walker’s. 

Through student affinity groups and regular dialogue across differences, Walker’s develops critically engaged students committed to social change and transformative impact. We develop community through empathy, culturally responsive teaching and reciprocal learning. We acknowledge the value of diversity within our community and weave Social Justice and Inclusion into the fabric of who we are and what we do. This work lives in our classrooms, our dorms, on our fields, and it is central to our identity as a school.

The Ward and Williams Center for Equity and Justice

The Ward and Williams Center for Equity and Justice 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. 

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. Ms. Williams and Cassandra “Casey” Ward ’71 (framed photo) were Walker’s first Black graduates.


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 and faculty are encouraged and supported in their attendance at conferences, community gatherings and training. This attendance contributes to and complements the work of course materials, affinity groups, and is critical in our 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)

SPHERE Consortium

The Ethel Walker School is a member of SPHERE, a consortium of 13 independent schools from the greater Hartford area whose mission is to encourage and assist member schools in collaboration to sustain diverse, inclusive, and culturally responsive environments for teaching and learning. Member schools seek to foster respect for difference and an understanding of multicultural perspectives in curricular and extracurricular programs.

Social Justice, Equity, and Inclusion


News /

Honoring Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth! Though the Emancipation Proclamation was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863, for various reasons that declaration did not reach all parts of the country at…

Added to: All School, Diversity and Social Justice