At Hawken, we believe that diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are critical to the development of character and intellect. In our efforts to build a community where each individual is included and treated equitably, we work intentionally to cultivate an environment where students learn essential skills and tools necessary to thrive in an ever-changing, interconnected, and globally diverse world. Hawken’s Director of Fair Play is currently working alongside faculty members and administrators to develop equity and inclusion curriculum and programming that allows students to see through multiple lenses, learn from the stories and life experiences of others, and build empathy.

There is no “typical” student or family at Hawken, and we work hard to make sure that every individual feels like a member and not a guest in our community – and that there is no expectation of conformity to a certain standard or stereotype. We implement national best practices for equity and inclusion that includes ongoing development of curricular and co-curricular programming, partnerships, affinity groups, conferences, committees, discussions, and more.

Developing awareness and appreciation of our differences through this broad range of approaches helps us to acknowledge, embrace, and celebrate the richness of our community and our culture of inclusiveness.

Hawken School's diversity statement reads as follows:

Hawken School Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

At Hawken School, we believe that our commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice is vital to the realization and cultivation of character and intellect in our students. This commitment is rooted in our mission of “forward-focused preparation for the real world through the development of character and intellect.”

Through our policies, programs, and practices, we actively promote a culture of respect, social awareness, and moral responsibility. Employees are expected to model and encourage intellectual growth and curiosity through the open and respectful exchange of ideas, thereby empowering students to think critically, challenge assumptions, engage in creative and collaborative problem solving, and learn from one another.

We honor the dignity of every human being, and we respect and value differences including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, political and social values, culture, religion, and physical ability.

We affirm our commitment to introducing the next generation to “a higher plane of life” and believe it is the responsibility of every member of our community to act with integrity, empathy, honesty, kindness, and compassion, ensuring that all constituents feel welcomed, accepted, respected, and valued. 

We understand that the continuing development of educational equity, cultural competency, and social justice is not always easy work; it requires a high level of personal awareness, ethical courage, and intellectual challenge. It also demands that we value all that makes us unique, explore perspectives that challenge our own, and initiate and engage in candid and courageous conversations. Our motto of Fair Play demands nothing less.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Faculty Leaders

Darnell Epps, director of Fair Play across all of Hawken’s campuses, sits on Hawken’s Administrative Council and sees his position as a step toward realizing our aspirational goals for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. “It’s important to have a designated person who can provide the resources and has the bandwidth to help lead this effort for students, teachers, and families.” Darnell has earned extraordinary respect for his DEIJ work with colleagues, students, and parents; his combination of empathy, collaboration, and situational judgement will provide the guidance, coordination, and insight needed to advance our DEIJ work moving forward.  
Having been situated at the Lyndhurst campus since 2018, Darnell will be primarily located at the Gates Mills campus for the 2022-23 year to deepen his understanding and relationships at the Upper School. New hire Loren Moyé, who comes to us from San Francisco Day School, will serve as Interim Director of DEIJ at the Lyndhurst campus. Darnell will continue to partner with the Mastery School DEIJ team to cultivate a culture of belonging and inclusivity as the school continues to grow.
An independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school, toddler through grade 12

Early Childhood, Lower, and Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Birchwood School of Hawken, 4400 West 140th Street, Cleveland, OH 44135 

Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Mastery School of Hawken, 11025 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

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