About

Diversity and Inclusion

Crossroads is a welcoming, inclusive community that seeks to reflect the diversity of the greater Los Angeles area and encourages the exchange of multiple viewpoints and experiences.
The diversity of our families, faculty and staff is apparent in our varied social, economic and racial backgrounds; belief systems; ethnicities and religions; sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities; family structures; and much more. Our diversity enriches the learning experience, exposing students to people of differing backgrounds and perspectives and helping them develop empathy and cultural competency. It also builds their awareness of systematic social inequities and empowers them to advocate for a more just world. Learn more.

Elementary School

Step Team
The Elementary School Step Team was launched in 2019 to celebrate Black History Month, which also included a presentation by Middle Schoolers on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Other annual Elementary School celebrations include Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month (with support from the Upper School Alma Latina club) and Women’s History Month.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity Coordinators
Each division has a diversity coordinator who plans and implements programming in support of our inclusive community. Some of their responsibilities include developing diversity-related training, workshops and discussion groups for employees; establishing and supporting student affinity groups and mentorship programs; and planning student assemblies, celebrations and other events to explore issues of diversity and inclusion. In addition, the Upper School has its own Diversity Committee comprising faculty and staff.

List of 4 items.

  • Akil Gainer

    Elementary School Diversity Coordinator
    Computer Field Technician
  • Menelik Tafari

    Middle School Diversity Coordinator
    Middle School Life Skills Teacher
  • Cherokee Washington ’13

    Administrative Assistant of Diversity Initiatives
    Varsity Volleyball Assistant Coach
  • Silvia Salazar

    Upper School Diversity Coordinator
    Upper School Spanish Teacher

Radical Inclusion for Social Equity

 RISE Committee
The mission of RISE is to utilize radical empathy to illuminate and engage with issues surrounding diversity and to act as catalyst for institutional change and individual identity development. The committee was initially created to help Crossroads implement many of the recommendations in the School’s 2012 Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism report.

RISE strives to promote meaningful conversations around issues of diversity and inclusion as well as to take action steps to advance those goals at Crossroads. It is open to all members of the School community who are interested in supporting and improving inclusion on campus. You can find a list of current RISE members here. Crossroads community members interested in joining the committee or learning more should contact RISE committee co-chairs David Stewart at DStewart@xrds.org or Piya Narayen at PNarayen@xrds.org.
Affinity Groups and Programs
Affinity groups allow people from similar backgrounds to provide each other with support, discuss identity-related challenges and celebrate their cultures together. Crossroads continues to add new K-12 student affinity groups as well as student clubs centered on identity. Programming to discuss and explore issues surrounding diversity is also offered to parents and alumni. 

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  • Middle School Clubs and Affinity Groups

    • Girls of Color 
    • Spanish for Heritage Speakers
    • PRIDE Options Class 
    • Gay-Straight Alliance
  • Upper School Clubs and Affinity Groups

    • Multiracial Student Union
    • Black Student Union
    • Asian Pacific Islander Student Union
    • Middle Eastern Student Union
    • PRIDE Genders and Sexualities Alliance
    • Queer Student Union
    • Alma Latina
    • Black Girl Magic
  • Parent Programming

    Crossroads Community Council (CCC) events allow parents to communicate on issues of social justice as they relate to parenting, to Crossroads and to our greater community. CCCs are held six times a year and are led by a trained facilitator. Recent topics have included class and values; gender and self-image; and race and ethnicity. Throughout the year, the School holds K-12 affinity councils for families of color as well as division-specific programming, providing a space for parents to share their stories and experiences.
  • Alumni Programming

    The Crossroads Alumni Office hosts an annual Alumni of Color Reception. Attendees discuss their Crossroads journeys, sit in Council and mingle with students and current/former faculty of color.
     

Diversity and Inclusion

Conferences & Speakers
The diversity and inclusion work taking place at Crossroads doesn’t exist in isolation. Our students and employees engage with guest speakers and attend local and national conferences, contributing to the important discussions taking place and turning ideas into meaningful action.

Conferences

Members of the Crossroads community participate in local and national conferences, workshops and roundtables, gaining new insights, personal connections and leadership skills. They return to campus energized, eager to share their newfound knowledge and implement what they have learned.

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  • Student Conferences

    Students have recently attended:
     
    • NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference at the People of Color Conference 
    • Empowerment and Engagement Coalition
    • Students Stay Woke Conference
  • Faculty/Staff Conferences

    Crossroads holds an annual, three-day intensive XRDS Summer Diversity Institute, which all employees are required to attend at some point during their tenure. Led by a skilled facilitator from Jones & Associates, which supports institutions in their diversity initiatives, participants develop strategies to help Crossroads become an even more inclusive, respectful and effective place. 

    Employees have recently attended and/or presented at:
     

Guest Speakers

Every division hosts accomplished guest speakers to address students on topics related to diversity and inclusion. Recently, National Book Award-winner Jacqueline Woodson and illustrator Rafael López visited the Elementary School and spoke about overcoming feeling like an outsider. Author Ellen Oh addressed Middle Schoolers about the need for diversity in young adult literature. And Women’s March LA Executive Director Emiliana Guereca discussed issues of intersectional identities and activism with Upper School students.

In addition, acclaimed speakers address students, employees and parents through the Crossroads Equity & Justice Institute’s Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series. This series is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Faculty Spotlight

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  • David Stewart

    Middle School Co-Assistant Director, RISE Committee Co-Chair

    “Crossroads’ commitment to diversity is both radical and authentic. It is an honor to work in a community in which all students are known and valued.”