The DEIJ Initiative

Bridget Lomax '24

Essentially, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) is an initiative to address any potential marginalization or oppression of members in a community or institution.  DEIJ was launched at the Academy several years ago when former Director of Communication Mrs. Minion and a group of students led the school in several assembly breakout sessions tailored to educate on micro-aggressions, racism, and more– heavy yet crucial topics that schools are obliged to address.

With Mrs. Minion’s departure, some feared DEIJ might wither before it could bloom. Luckily, Chengli Payton ’25, Greta Servitto ’24, UmaSofia Srivastava ’25 and yours truly decided to pursue development of the initiative. Encouraged by Mrs. Ameres and Mrs. Antico since early winter, the fruit of our labors have begun to reach the wider school community recently.

Given the skills required to discuss its many facets, DEIJ awareness will be a multi-step process. Step one was an anonymous poll sent to the student body with an all-important question: On a scale of one to ten, how inclusive is AOSE? With one being entirely exclusionary and ten being entirely inclusive, the average was approximately eight–a promising start; however, some answered lower than eight, suggesting that different people have different experiences and that these perceptions must be considered.  Step two was inviting Mrs. Jen Cort to address the Academy on March 7th.  Mrs. Cort, a school counselor and activist (, was well-received and will certainly be a future resource. 

This new and improved student-teacher union aims to resolve any issues that might arise which cause people to feel less-than-entirely welcome.  The method of choice?  Discipline– in other words, patiently training and instructing students and staff to embrace DEIJ in their daily practices. If you’re interested in helping, keep a keen eye on your inbox for upcoming opportunities.

Ultimately, DEIJ is another way that the Academy demonstrates a commitment to its mission of promoting academic excellence and moral responsibility within a scholarly environment in a nurturing community of faith.