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 Middle School Forum is a group of students in the Middle School that meets weekly to discuss a variety of diversity topics including race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and gender. Students often do activities that challenge their thinking and precipitate dialogue both inside and outside of the Forum setting. Any and all M/S students and faculty are welcome to attend Forum meetings.
The Rivers Integrated Cultural Awareness Club (RICA) is a group of students in the Upper School that meets weekly to discuss issues of diversity both on and off campus. Students learn to challenge assumptions and think critically about these issues, offering a wide variety of perspectives that often lead to fascinating conversations and debates. RICA members also plan and organize a variety of diversity events throughout the year. Any and all students and faculty are welcome to attend RICA meetings.
xCEL (Community Engagement Leaders) is a select group of Upper School juniors and seniors who aspire to cultivate an environment at Rivers of exploration, interest in, and action around issues of equity and justice, proactively connecting Rivers with community efforts in these areas.
There are five affinity groups at Rivers: - African Diaspora - Latinx/Hispanic - Asian American - Multiracial - White Ally
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.
Each year around the holidays, alumni of color get together to share stories, reconnect, engage with young alums, and enjoy an evening out sponsored by the Diversity Office. We are always seeking to get alumni involved in diversity initiatives, from speaking engagements to workshops with students and faculty. Keep in touch!
The annual Day of Consideration brings the entire community together to engage in active dialogue about what it means to consider each others’ stories. Where do we come from? What experiences do we have? In what ways can we relate to each other that, without the expression of these stories, we may never know or understand? In addition to small group discussion and activities, the entire community engages in hands-on service work during the day.
Every fall, Rivers families of color gather for dinner at a Boston restaurant with the goal of strengthening connections with one another as well as with various members of the Rivers community. This fall 30 families joined members of the faculty and administration at Fogo de Chao in Boston for an evening of community-building and camaraderie.
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.
Led by faculty members John Bower, Katie Henderson, and Chris Love, the Critical Conversation Series is a venue for any and all faculty and staff to engage in monthly conversations about diversity and inclusivity both inside and outside of the classroom. We read articles, watch videos, discuss theories, and challenge each other to consider best practices when approaching challenging conversations about identity in our teaching and social development of students.
The Rivers Diversity Committee is a group of current faculty, staff, and Board of Trustee members that meets on a regular basis to discuss, plan, and implement various programs and initiatives as they pertain to daily life in the Rivers community. The committee aims to support the school's mission of "valuing responsibility, honesty, compassion, diversity, and respect" while striving to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for all families.
The Parent Diversity Committee is a social group of parents that gets together off campus approximately once a month to engage in conversations about diversity at Rivers. The goals of the committee are 1) to help build a more inclusive school-wide parent network; 2) to advise Rivers faculty and administrators on issues related to students of color and their families; 3) to assist the Rivers Diversity Office in the development and implementation of more diversity-focused assemblies and programs; and 4) to build an extended network among parents at other area independent schools to strengthen the equity and diversity efforts in our schools.
That point was made passionately at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day assembly, held on Monday, January 14. In his introductory remarks, faculty member Bruce Taylor said the gathering was “an opportunity to address the ongoing presence of hateful language.”