Eric Law becomes Country Day's first African American graduate and earns a National Merit Scholarship. He eventually returns to Country Day to serve on the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Council.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB)
Charlotte Country Day School is committed to living as an authentic, inclusive community. We believe that students benefit significantly from an education that affirms respect and inclusivity as core values. We aspire to be a school community that not only values the principles of equity, inclusivity, and justice, but also a community that puts principles to practice on a daily basis.
Our students come from different faith, socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, and they all bring their own passions, talents, and personalities. In order for ALL of our students to feel valued, they need to feel understood and supported. We must model for our children the power of living as an authentic, inclusive community.
Brian Wise, Director of Diversity Planning
In an effort to increase diversity at the school, Country Day becomes affiliated with A Better Chance (ABC) to identify and promote scholarships for minority students. Nethea Rhinehart '89 and Joan Tolbert '89 are the first ABC graduates at Country Day.
The school receives a $35,000 grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation for scholarships for African American students.
The Hearst Foundation awards a grant to Country Day to initiate the Hearst Teaching Fellowship, which awards the school in bringing more diversity to our faculty. Since 1994, 26 teachers of color have come to Country Day for one-year fellowships, enriching our students' multicultural educational experiences.
The Office of Diversity Planning is created and Brian Wise comes on board to direct and create programs for students, faculty, and parents to increase awareness of issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and multiculturalism.
Country Day starts sending two faculty members from each division and six Upper School students to the NAIS People of Color Conference every year. Our faculty frequently present and share best practices with their national peers.
People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS), a committee of the National Association of Independent Schools is established at Country Day. POCIS is a forum that promotes dialogue about diverse cultures, languages, knowledge, and insights of people of color to contribute to creating an inclusive and affirming institution.
We change our mission key value of Diversity to the key value Community, which leads to the creation of our Affirmation of Community, one of the first schools in the country to adopt one. This affirmation commits us to living as an authentic, diverse, and inclusive community and guides us daily on issues of inclusion, similarity, and difference.
Mark Reed joins Country Day as our first African American Head of School. Under his leadership, the school experiences remarkable growth, stability, and security.
The Diversity Awareness Forum (DAF) was created to promote a general respect for people's differences by creating an open-minded environment that embraces all people, ideas, and cultures. The DAF serves as the umbrella community to bring together the voices of seven clubs.
We create, develop, and host the first Affirming Community Together (ACT) conference for area middle school students. The event developed out of the desire of Upper School students to pass on the knowledge they acquired while attending national diversity conferences.
The Diversity Awareness Lunch Forum is established to offer an opportunity for students and faculty to engage in courageous conversations that enrich our community and support our students. The goal is to create a diverse and inclusive school which consciously and deliberately strives to build an equitable and just community.
We start sending 2–4 faculty members to the Diversity Leadership Institute each year, an intensive, weeklong program that provides tools to lead and manage becoming an inclusive learning community.
The AMAZE program is implemented, which provides children with dolls, conversation, and high-quality literature that mirrors their own likes and dislikes, physical features, and home life. The program tools provide a window into differences such as family structure, socioeconomic status, or heritage change.
All Country Day faculty/staff partnered with the Community Building Initiative and local historian Tom Blanchett to learn deeply about Charlotte’s racial history through a city bus tour. Every newly hired employee has a similar experience as part of a two-year mentoring program.