Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mission Statement
Sayre School is committed to equity and justice, and aspires to be a community in which every member feels engaged, heard, and valued. Appreciating the broad spectrum of human diversity, we embrace the contributions of all members of our community as we foster a culture of respect.
We believe diversity inspires personal and academic growth. Sharing perspectives and experiences beyond our own boundaries through exploration, introspection, and civil discourse is integral to our mission of creating an inclusive learning environment.
Ratified by the Board of Trustees, September 5, 2019
The Scope of Diversity Valuing Our Differences
Programs - Activities and Clubs
Sayre promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion across our dynamic urban campus by encouraging students to take the lead on a number of initiatives. With faculty support, each group encourages our school community to think more broadly, feel more empathetically, and see each other more clearly.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
Through the influence of current and former coaches and/or athletes, FCA's mission, values, and vision are based on seeing the world transformed by God's word in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Sayre School's FCA club invites all students of any belief and/or religion. We provide an atmosphere of teamwork where all students are accepted and honored.
Sponsor: Amy Berryman and Bill Berryman
Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA)
Sayre School’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ students and their allies to explore topics related to identity, gender, and sexual orientation through discussion, enrichment activities, activism, and social events.
SAGA empowers students to lead the Sayre community through courageous conversations, open and affirming classrooms, and a culture of acceptance and kindness.
At SAGA, as at Sayre, everyone is valued, important, and welcome.
Sponsors: Elizabeth Massie, Nick Miller, Barb Milosch, and Maggi O'Neill
Spartan Diversity Leadership Club (SDLC)
SDLC provides a space for students to express their identities, discuss issues present in our school and in the greater community, address stereotypes and common assumptions, and foster understanding of multiple cultures, experiences, religions, etc.
Sponsor: Cathy Bilberry
Multicultural Middle Schoolers (M&M)
Sayre’s Multicultural Middle Schoolers Club (M&M) welcomes 5th through 8th grade students who are interested in learning about and celebrating cultures represented by Sayre’s student body. Members of the M&M club meet monthly and include activities and discussion topics focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice. Our 7th and 8th grade members have chosen to take on leadership roles in the club and guide the sponsors on topics they feel passionate about.
Sponsors: Ola Samadi and Janette Hatchett
KIDS-to-Kids is a cross-divisional program at Sayre designed to foster greater recognition and appreciation of human diversity.
Originally created by the Kentucky Conference for Community and Justice, the program is based on four important principles: Kindness, Inclusion, Differences, and Self-worth, which form the acronym KIDS. In its seventeenth year at Sayre, the program is the only program of its kind currently operating in the Lexington schools. KIDS-to-Kids helps prepare our students for life in a global environment and instills a positive sense of one's own worth while recognizing the value of others.
Twenty-eight trained Upper School students facilitate the two or three, one hour, lessons for students in the second through seventh grades. Lesson topics address issues of self-esteem, bullying, communication, empathy, stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, sources of conflict, techniques of conflict resolution, inclusion and tolerance. By helping students build bonds of awareness, respect and civility, the program actively seeks to promote a school climate of understanding and acceptance.
Dr. Alice Goldstein Virtually Visits Sayre
In March 2022, Dr. Alice Goldstein visited with US and MS students on two separate occasions to share her story virtually as a local child survivor of the Holocaust. Dr. Goldstein spent the first eight years of her life as a Jew in Nazi Germany. She has devoted the past 40 years to sharing her experiences and reflecting on the Holocaust as it relates to our current world. Listening and learning from the testimony of a survivor gave students an important personal connection to history. In addition, she has written a book titled, Ordinary People, Turbulent Times, that covers her childhood.
Ruby Bridges Virtually Visits Sayre
In April 2021, Sayre hosted a series of three exciting virtual events with civil rights icon Ruby Bridges. In 1960, Ruby Bridges became the first African American student to integrate an all-white elementary school in Louisiana.
A lifelong civil rights activist who promotes respect and appreciation of all differences, Ms. Bridges continues to inspire today’s young activists who desire to create change and unity.
Cathy Bilberry, the DEI coordinator in the Upper School, said that “Ruby Bridges was open and candid in sharing her story. She also appreciated the opportunity to talk with students and answer their questions. Reading her own story to students in the Lower School was a special moment for children and their teachers.”
Ms. Bridges shared her story with Lower, Middle and Upper School students. The signed copies of her books in Sayre’s libraries-Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges, Ruby Bridges Goes to School, and This Is Your Time, serve as a powerful reminder of her courage and stamina that has been celebrated by all those who seek racial equality.
Judy Shepard Visits Sayre
On March 12, 2019, Founder's Day, Sayre welcomed internationally renowned speaker Judy Shepard to our campus.
Judy Shepard lectures worldwide, sharing the mission of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which "empowers individuals to embrace human dignity and diversity through outreach, advocacy and resource programs. We strive to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance."
In October 1998, Judy and Dennis Shepard lost their 21 year-old son, Matthew, to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate. Their work is an extension of Matt's passion to foster a more caring and just world. Mrs. Shepard came to share Matt's story and embody his vigor for civil rights to change the hearts and minds of others to accept everyone as they are. Matthew's murder was denounced as a hate crime and brought attention to the lack of hate crime legislation in numerous states. His remains were interred at Washington National Cathedral this past October, the 20th anniversary of his death.
Mrs. Shepard's visit coincided with Sayre's March production of The Laramie Project. Based on interviews with Laramie residents in the aftermath of the crime, this play takes on a documentary style and draws from hundreds of interviews conducted with town members and from news reports. Last year, the play was performed 150 times in the U.S.
During her visit, she addressed our 8th-12th grade students in an assembly and met with small groups of students including the members of our the Justice League, the Gay/Straight Alliance, the Diversity Awareness Club, as well as the cast of The Laramie Project for one-on-one question and answer sessions.
Mrs. Shepard's visit and our production of The Laramie Project are examples of our commitment to implement Sayre's Diversity Vision Statement that states, "As a community, we are bound by the shared responsibility to foster a spirit of mutual respect and kindness. We value equity, justice, and the diverse perspectives of the world."