The Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion group at Prep, known as the DEI, was established in the spring of last year by Mr. Ryan Upshaw, the school’s Director of Diversity and Outreach. The goal of the DEI is to foster more open communication, representation, and engagement, providing students a platform to voice their concerns as well as create educational and social opportunities. Meetings will serve as a space for students to participate in critical conversations for the future of the school.
Mr. Upshaw established a Student Committee inside the DEI to spread awareness of the DEI. The committee was established to convene a group of students at the junior and senior high levels who have a shared interest in creating a diverse, inclusive, and more equitable academic environment.
The goal of the DEI Student Committee is to provide insight, advocacy, and programming related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Prep. Mr. Upshaw said, “Students are the reason that we are here, it is important for their voices to be heard and taken seriously especially as it relates to how we can make Prep a more inclusive school.”
In the past Prep has had the United Student Union. The DEI Student Committee has been created in place of the United Student Union. It will function in some similar ways, but it will be more intentional and focused on advocacy, programming, and outreach. Students had to apply to serve on the committee, and this structure will provide more accountability for those involved.
Mr. Upshaw hopes the DEI will accomplish many things for Prep. He said, “I am excited for the momentum that the group has already. The students currently involved represent all many aspects of the school. Ian Underwood serves as president of the committee and has brought great energy and level of interest to the work. My hope is that the group can provide a support system to students who are underrepresented at Prep and provide a space for those voices to be heard. Student feedback is very important for me in this role, and I look forward to seeing the ideas that the group has been discussing come to fruition. It’s important to note that there will be open meetings for students not a part of the committee to come, learn about what we’re doing, and provide their feedback as well. Students can always reach out to me or to a committee member with any concerns as well.”