Cultural Competency and Inclusion
Berwick Academy is proud to have launched a comprehensive approach to cultural competency and inclusion as part of our most recent NEASC accreditation process. As a day school located in Southern Maine, we enter this conversation with an appropriate blend of ambition and realism. Berwick Academy has undertaken this work given its direct connection to the School’s historic mission of “promoting virtue and useful knowledge to the rising generations.” Both in terms of practical skill and in terms of moral development, we believe the skills and attitude associated with cultural competency to be of the utmost importance to our graduates.
Berwick Academy believes cultural competency is an essential element of "useful knowledge" in the 21st Century. Our graduates must navigate a diverse world guided by empathy, understanding, listening, self reflection, self awareness, and humility. These habits and skills need to be formed through engagement with people, places, and ideas from many cultures and multiple perspectives.
Moving forward, we are currently shaping a five-year measurable cultural competency action plan that will complement the existing Long Range Plan of the School. We have identified five pillars of action in the spirit of becoming a more diverse, inclusive, and empathetic place five years from now. Finally, we recently completed a national search for a senior level position as Director of Cultural Competency. This person in this new role will tackle the unique challenge of strengthening our diversity efforts, improving our multicultural programming, and continuing to build upon the pre-existing culture of the School, which is marked by openness, humility, and respect. It is our hope that this new professional will also bolster our efforts to continue diversifying and supporting our students, families, and employees.