Programming to support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives is woven throughout the fabric of the school. It begins with character education in Lower School; continues through the Middle School capstone projects; and remains a fundamental part of the Upper School experience in advisory and assemblies. Additionally, schoolwide programs offer the opportunity for parents to engage in dialogue around the issues their students are discussing.
Nora Hudson has planned and executed multicultural and inclusion programs, events, and speakers for the Providence Day community that support the vision provided by the Director. The 2020-2021 academic year, programs included:
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Office of Equity and Inclusion in partnership with the Upper School Hispanic/Latinx Affinity group hosted a virtual talk with first generation American Salma Villarreal. Salma spoke about the immigrant experience and talked about her work with Charlotte’s Hispanic community at OurBRIDGE for Kids, a non-profit organization for immigrant and refugee children.
NOVEMBER 16, 2020
In celebration of American Indian Heritage Month, the Office of Equity and Inclusion hosted an asynchronous screening of the documentary “Gather” with a subsequent debrief of the film with director Sanjay Rawal. “Gather” documents the growing movement among American Indians to reclaim their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty. The film follows an Apache chef as he attempts to re-establish traditional foodways on his reservation, a young Lakota woman as she studies the effects of the destruction of the buffalo on her peoples’ diets, and a group of young Yurok boys as they battle a large dam on the Klamath River.
JANUARY 19, 2021
In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, in partnership with the Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice, hosted a virtual talk with an interfaith social justice panel including representatives from the Presbyterian, Islamic, Catholic, Sikh, and Jewish faiths. Panelists shared how their religious tradition and/or local congregation approached the work of social justice and the discussion was followed by a Q&A.
FEBRUARY 9, 2021
For Black History Month, Providence Day hosted a panel on “The Legacy of PD’s Founding History and White Flight Schools in Charlotte” as part of our commitment made in summer 2020 to acknowledge the school’s founding as a white flight school. Panelists included: Dorothy Counts-Scoggins — civil rights figure, the first Black student to integrate Harding High School; Justin Perry — licensed social worker and community activist; Pamela Grundy- historian and author of “Color & Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality;” and Roy Garrison - Upper School History teacher in his 37th year at PD. In addition to addressing our own history, the discussion also included the context of busing in Charlotte and the impact the creation of white flight schools had on desegregation efforts. The discussion is available for listening at www.ProvidenceDay.org/Podcast.
MARCH 23, 2021
In celebration of Women’s Heritage Month, the Office of Equity and Inclusion in partnership with the Upper School Affinity group Students Advocating for Gender Equality (SAGE) hosted a virtual panel of four women leaders in Charlotte. Panelists included Julie Eiselt (Mayor Pro Tem, Charlotte City Council), Toni Freeman (President, Toni Freeman & Associates), Grace Nystrum (Strategic Marketing Executive, Bank of America), and Dr. Sophia Paige-Feemster (Founding Partner of Arboretum Obstetrics & Gynecology).
APRIL 13, 2021
“Understanding Our Past and Where We Go From Here: Supporting Black Students” is a follow-up discussion to the one conducted in February. Panelists turned their eyes to the future. Community activist Justin Perry returned as a panelist, alongside alumni Adrienne Teal-Thomas, Jasper Ray, and Kai Mawougbe, as well as current students Emnet Naod and Kolby Oglesby. The discussion is also available at www.ProvidenceDay.org/Podcast.
APRIL 27, 2021
Rainbow Day started in 2017 with the tagline “LGBTQ+ Day of Empowerment.” GSA members had participated in the Day of Silence each year in April, but in 2017 they decided that what the PD LGBTQ+ community really needed was a day of celebration rather than a day of silence. In 2017, the first Rainbow Day consisted of cookies, informational posters, rainbow spirit day, selling ribbons as a fundraiser, and student visual art. In 2018, the event added selling student-designed T-shirts and musical performances by students. In 2019, a book display from the Library was added; in 2020, students experienced a virtual event due to the pandemic; and in 2021, the on-campus celebration incorporated rainbow themed face masks.
MAY 11, 2021
In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Office of Equity and Inclusion in partnership with the Upper School Asian Affinity group hosted a virtual talk with UNCC professor of practice in Chinese Dr. Yongling Gorke and UNCC senior Bridgitt Ku who is partnering with UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library and History South to write a book detailing the experiences of Chinese Americans living in Charlotte.