Equity & Inclusion - About - McDonogh School

Equity & Inclusion

McDonogh’s Philosophy on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

McDonogh School is a tapestry of diversity in all of its forms—race and ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status, to name a few. This diversity enriches our perspectives and makes us stronger, but it is just the starting point. 

Our Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff are committed to continuing to diversify our community while simultaneously sustaining and enhancing an inclusive environment where each member of the McDonogh family is heard and valued.  We accomplish this by supporting a sense of belonging through a culture of dignity and respect.

We are dedicated to being a school where students are affirmed for who they are—where they learn the importance of having empathy for those who are different and seek ways to better understand themselves and the world around them. We do this through LifeReady, our academic philosophy, which enacts the kind of critical thinking and collaboration students will need to work and thrive across lines of difference throughout their lives.

As proponents of lifelong learning, we embrace the idea that true commitment to equity and  inclusion is a continuous journey of action, reflection, and recommitment. It requires humility, perseverance, and truth-telling. McDonogh is ever ready for this journey.

Pledge to Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

McDonogh is dedicated to being a truly diverse and inclusive community.

  • We pledge to continuously engage in reflective practices to ensure that our community remains equitable and inclusive for all.
  • We pledge to create a learning environment that is affirming for all of our students. Likewise, we pledge to create a work environment that is affirming for all of our faculty and staff.
  • We pledge, through our LifeReady academic philosophy, to equip our students with the knowledge, will, and skill to be agents of positive change and civic engagement.
  • We pledge to ensure that our faculty and staff continue to grow and develop their ability to create equitable, inclusive, and transformative learning environments through school-based professional development and other professional learning opportunities.
  • We pledge to build a community where the equal worth and inherent dignity of each person is honored and everyone truly belongs.

Schoolwide Working Groups

Board of Trustees Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The Board of Trustees is committed to the work of making sure McDonogh School is a diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution. To that end, in July 2020, an Equity Committee of the Board was established as a standing group. This committee, chaired by Dee Drummond ‘92, ensures open dialogue at the board level and helps to foster, encourage, and emphasize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Institutional Equity Task Force

During the summer of 2020, the Administration created the Institutional Equity Task Force to further explore and examine the  School’s understanding of culture, policy, and practices from a DEI perspective. The Task Force created three subcommittees to accomplish these objectives. 

Academic Excellence and Student Experience Subcommittee

The Academic Excellence and Student Experience Subcommittee focuses on assessing the needs of the community and planning professional development and student engagement opportunities. 

McDonogh Voices Subcommittee

The McDonogh Voices Subcommittee is a group of McDonogh alumni historians and scholars working in partnership with internal staff to help craft programming aimed at addressing the school’s history and unique relationship to its founder, John McDonogh. The group is also collecting oral histories from alumni throughout the decades, which will be included and shared as part of the school’s 150th anniversary in 2023. 

Institutional Equity Subcommittee

The Institutional Equity Subcommittee is charged with assessing the operations and policies of McDonogh from an equity and inclusion perspective and identifying areas of opportunity or improvement. 


McDonogh supports affinity spaces and adheres to NAIS’s Best Practices on the rationale and purpose of affinity spaces. Several student, parent, faculty/staff and alumni affinity spaces have already been established.


McDonogh faculty and staff attend regular in-school professional development around diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to on-going school-based professional development, faculty and staff are also encouraged to participate in national and local conferences. 


Middle School and Upper School students have the opportunity to attend local and national diversity leadership conferences to learn about themselves and the world around them as it pertains to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Office of Equity and Inclusion