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Multicultural Family

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Peter W. Mertz, Head of School

HRA values diversity and the unique contributions each student brings to our community. We strive for every child to feel safe and have a sense of belonging. Through the Multicultural Family, we aspire to promote respectful and supportive relationships and substantiate the attributes of global awareness. 

The Multicultural Family promotes ethnic and multicultural awareness and diversity to accept and appreciate more diverse cultures, thus enabling the development of social relationships and interactions designed to encourage civic participation and community engagement.

HRA and our Multicultural Family

Our mission statement at Hampton Roads Academy reads that we are an inclusive community of service and compassion, that prepares students to excel intellectually, artistically, physically, and morally in higher education and in life.

This past spring, following the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, people across the world demanded justice. 

Alumni and students also spoke up in various ways to address situations where they felt discriminated against because of their race, gender, religion, and/or sexual orientation. These shared stories and experiences reflect that we must continuously work to execute the goals of our mission statement. It is imperative that we look to our past so we can learn from it and improve. It is our goal to do better and to be better while advocating for an equitable future for all. We want to strengthen the models of informed civic engagement, enhance inclusivity that values and includes everyone and inspire students and adults alike to recognize and speak out against injustice.

Multicultural Family's Mission at HRA

Our mission is to demonstrate through words, actions and programs, our inclusive and compassionate environment while promoting awareness, acceptance and diversity for the HRA community.

Started by students and faculty, with the full support of the Board of Trustees, to have a voice in the changes made in our community, the HRA Multicultural Family includes all cultures, genders, religions and sexual orientations and all are encouraged to be seen, heard and accepted within the HRA family. This is not a “club”. The word “club” is usually indicative of a closed off group environment, excluding others. The Multicultural “Family” is the farthest idea from exclusion. In fact, the inclusion of every person in the HRA community’s experiences, points of view and understanding is vital in creating a truly diverse, safe and all-inclusive community where we can Think. Explore. and Discover.
Goals of the Multicultural Family:

List of 2 items.

  • What are our goals?

    • Work towards an inclusive community where everyone feels accepted, protected, and safe but not necessarily comfortable.
    • Foster the development of young leaders who will have the confidence to work towards excelling intellectually, artistically, physically, and morally in higher education and in life.
    • A commitment to hiring diversity throughout all positions of Faculty and Staff.
    • Celebrating and growing our diverse student body
      Building and teaching a multicultural curriculum that speaks to multiple experiences. 
  • How will we achieve those goals?

    • Regular and ongoing training for all HRA Faculty/Staff on diversity and inclusion for all aspects of campus life.
    • A commitment to discussing age appropriate topics on diversity in daily classroom/campus social circles. 
    • Encourage teachers to examine their own unconscious bias and reconstruct their lessons to include diversity with several perspectives.
    • With the support and involvement from the Board of Trustees, these and other ways of thinking will help with instilling positive changes. 
    • This mission includes the entire HRA Community: students, parents, alumni, Faculty, Staff, & Administration. Everyone’s willingness to participate and grow will help HRA thrive.  

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, January 27, 12:15pm - Multicultural Family Student Meeting (Upper School)


PAST EVENTS:

Thursday, October 29th, 3pm - Guest Speaker: Asa Jackson '07

Wednesday, September 16th, 3:15pm - Faculty and Staff Discussion

Monday, August 31: Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), DEI and discussions for Faculty/Staff (Zoom)

August 24-25, 31: “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” Professional Development Day for Faculty/Staff presented by the Multicultural Family (Zoom option was available)

Faculty/Staff Sponsors

Sarah Andersen, Upper School Spanish Teacher
Lavena “V” Clark, Custodial Staff
Jenn Clemons, Visual Art Department Chair/Upper School Art Teacher/International Residence Director
Christine Contakes, Upper School Art Teacher/Advisory Coordinator
Kim Davis, Registrar/College Counseling Coordinator
Wayne Ducksworth, 7th Grade Team Leader/Middle School Social Studies
Michelle Ford, Admission Outreach Associate
Rachel Hirsch ‘13, Director of Alumni Relations/Events
John Nichols, Upper School Technical Theatre & Digital Media/Middle School Stage Experience Teacher
Ron Sims, Lower School PE/Science Teacher
Joceyln Spencer ‘08, Middle School English Teacher
Tommy Yevak ‘83,  Assistant Athletic Director/Upper School PE/Baseball Coach
If you want to be part of our Family, please reach out to the HRA Multicultural Family at multiculturalfamily@hra.org.  We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Hampton Roads Academy

HRA is accredited through the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is a National Blue Ribbon School.

Hampton Roads Classical and Hampton Roads Academy are not affiliated.