Diversity & Inclusion

An equitable education is an ethical education. 

Shady Side Academy is a diverse community of students and adults who share different cultural values and perspectives. We embrace each other's differences and backgrounds, and know that this diversity adds to the richness and depth of our students' overall learning experience. Faculty members work to ensure a safe and open environment where understanding is central to all, and students’ differences are celebrated as an integral part of the educational experience.

Our Commitment

  • Creating an inclusive environment where students feel welcomed, valued and appreciated
  • Fostering a community of diverse perspectives to better prepare our students for a global society.
  • Cultivating a community of cultural understanding, respect and social responsibility

Declaration for a Diverse & Inclusive Community

In 2007, the Shady Side Academy Board of Trustees approved the following statement on the Academy's commitment to diversity:

As an Academy, we must cultivate, understand and embrace the differences among us as part of our educational endeavor. Academy leadership, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and students provide an example by fostering an environment of understanding and respect of all people. Further, we must instruct and empower children to challenge assumptions and ask questions in order to become responsible citizens in a diverse world. We believe that the recognition and appreciation of differences in race, socio-cultural status, religious tradition, age, gender, ability and sexual orientation enhance the individual's sense of identity, broaden respect for others and inspire strong character. As we strive for academic excellence, so shall we strive for richness and depth in the community life at Shady Side Academy. Through curriculum and informal school experiences, students at Shady Side Academy must appreciate and respect the inherent value of all people.


Diversity: Quantifiable. Understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences, along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical ability, religious belief, political belief or other ideologies.  

Inclusion: Qualitative. People feel included and welcomed. It is the understanding and appreciation of intersecting identities while valuing the whole person and their perspective.

Equity: Actionable. Individuals receive the supports they need to gain access to resources – to help achieve equal outcomes.

Student Clubs & Groups

The Senior School offers numerous clubs and groups for students who share a common interest, experience or identity, including:

  • Asian Student Union
  • Black Student Union (BSU)
  • Christian Fellowship
  • Democratic Student Union
  • Diversity Leadership Council
  • Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
  • Italian Student Union
  • Jewish Student Union
  • LatinX Club
  • Patriot Society
  • Perspectives Club
  • Who Run the World 

Conferences & Professional Development



Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Relations

Lillian Grate
Director of Equity, Inclusion and Community Relations
Email Lillian

The Office

  • Partners with Academy administration to inform and create equitable policies and practices
  • Collaborates and consults with school heads to build inclusive and equitable communities
  • Works with faculty to develop multicultural curricula that represent the diversity of our community and beyond
  • Offers education and support to parents, students, trustees and staff