BRIDGE is a shared space where a diverse community of student and faculty voices discusses topics relevant to identity, inclusion, equity, and social and environmental justice. The club—which is open to all, no matter one’s background or opinions—serves as a place of reflection where we work to increase cross-cultural connections, stimulate school-wide conversations, and promote collective action to make Rivers a better school for every student
BRIDGE happens in both the Middle School and Upper School every week on Friday afternoons.
The Rivers Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) provides a safe forum for discussion and reflection on issues surrounding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Our mission is to work toward a more inclusive environment for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, through education, support, social action, and advocacy.
The term "affinity group" is used as a bringing together of people who have an identifier in common, e.g. race, gender, religion, family status, etc. Affinity groups are for individuals who identify as members of the group and can speak to the experience of being a member of the group from the “I” perspective. The goal of establishing these spaces here at Rivers is to provide an opportunity for students and faculty of color and white allies to speak to their experience in a defined space that affirms their identity and builds community through shared stories and experiences.
There are eight affinity groups in the Rivers Upper School: - African Diaspora - Latinx/Hispanic - Asian American - Multiracial - White Ally - Middle Eastern - Middle School Students of Color - LGBTQIA+
This year, Middle School affinity groups are meeting online via Zoom every Thursday at 4:30pm; these affinity meetings include middle school students of color from other independent schools. See the flyer below.
Theme: Finding Your Voice Around Race This year all school programming moves us away from the one day model previously held. We will spread our work over four program blocks allowing us to have a more sustained community-wide conversation. Our work around race will follow our model of working first with identity, then to understanding systems, and finally towards action. Programming will be structured to include racial affinity spaces to ensure safe and open conversation about a challenging topic.
Parents are engaged in opt in Dei programming throughout the year that mirror the programming students have in school. Our aim is to have. Students engaged in one conversation at home and at school about inclusion, This year’s theme is Finding Your Voice Around Race. Parents sign up for three 2-hour sessions that take place seasonally. This year almost 100 parents have chosen to engage.
BIPOC Alumni meet quarterly to fellowship together, learn from one another and connect to current Rivers Students and the DEI office. These alumni communicate with each other and current students through a Slack Channel. This year these interactions will conclude with a summit in May.
Global Fair is an evening on campus devoted to celebrating the wide variety of ethnicities and cultures represented by Rivers students and their families. It’s also a chance to meet new people, try new foods, hear new music, and enjoy amazing entertainment. Dozens of families, representing countries from Guatemala to Zimbabwe to Ireland, participate by providing food and artifacts from their home cultures. Entertainment in the past has included the hip-hop dance sensation Status Quo and a Filipino dance troupe performing their traditional dance called tinikling
Rivers is committed to sending students and faculty to the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference and People of Color Conference every year. SDLC and POCC are incredible opportunities for personal and professional development, and we expect student and faculty participants to return to our community with new programs, activities, and points of view to help build and sustain an inclusive environment.
Critical Conversations, started a few years ago as a volunteer group has become the venue for Professional Development for faculty and staff. This year Personal Learning networks were launched out of the DEI Office to provide the adult community with opportunities for growth around social identity. Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation and Socio-economic status are the four that are in focus as we seek to create a self-aware adult body, engaged in the understanding of bias and how it impacts their positioning in relationship to others in our community.