Cultural Competency & Inclusion

In accordance with our mission, core beliefs, and strategic plan, we seek to foster and affirm a diverse and inclusive community at Savannah Country Day School.  Members of this community reflect varied and multi-faceted backgrounds and identities and acknowledge these differences with sensitivity and respect.  This community is critical to nurturing a sense of belonging in each student and inspiring lifelong intellectual and personal growth in all.
Lower School

Lower School students participate in monthly initiatives focused on cultural awareness, self-awareness and empathy. The 3rd-5th grade students put on an annual multi-cultural potluck. Students experience various food tastings, cultural traditions, games, and more.

Middle School

Student Diversity Club: Middle School is an opportune place for students to foster and engage in dialogue related to Cultural Competency and Inclusion. This important dialogue brings awareness to issues in the Middle School and provides solutions and strategies to navigate these issues. 

Upper School

Our Upper School club, Students Celebrating Diversity, brings awareness to the larger SCDS community. Every year we send a cohort of students to the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Students Celebrating Diversity adhere to the following goals:

We educate ourselves and the greater community; create an environment that welcomes open and honest dialogues among everyone; emphasize empathy, tolerance, and acceptance; and work toward ending macro and microaggressions.

Cultural Competency and Inclusion News

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Country Day Welcomes Back Kevan Jackson '84

We kicked off our Black History Month activities on February 1 with a visit from SCDS alumnus and board member Kevan Jackson '84, who met with Upper School students at assembly. Mr. Jackson, who is the Director of Program Management for the G650/G650ER aircraft models at Gulfstream, shared with students his experience at Country Day, the trajectory that led him to his current career, and some sage words of wisdom: "Don't settle. Always push harder."

Thank you to Mr. Jackson for visiting campus and speaking to our students!

Cultural Diversity Week at TLS

As part of Cultural Diversity Week at The Little School, members of the Upper School’s Students Celebrating Diversity Club stopped by to read stories to our youngest Hornets. The students had GREAT questions and enjoyed the fun cross-divisional learning opportunity!

Lunar New Year

Thanks to seniors Leyla Patel and Lily Tran for their thoughtful presentations to both the Upper School and Middle School students about the Lunar New Year, Year of the Rabbit. Their presentations focused on the variety of ways the Lunar New Year is celebrated globally. Students also hosted a lunch later in the week to come together as a community and celebrate new beginnings. 

MLK Jr. Inspired Artwork

In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students of all ages participated in projects to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy. Students researched and illustrated various quotes by Dr. King and produced beautiful artwork to be displayed throughout campus.

“Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Student-Led Black History Month Presentation

Thank you to juniors Britney Brown, Phil-Isabelle Ajayi, and Maya King for creating and leading today's Black History Month presentation. As this year's Black History Month theme is "Black Health and Wellness," the student-led presentation highlighted the recent contributions of several Black American scientists and doctors, including Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, and Dr. Ben Carson. The presentation also included a video that showcased how Black History Month is celebrated around the world.

Students and Faculty Attend Diversity Conferences

Last week, five Upper School students—Britney Brown, Phil-Isabelle Ajayi, Lily Tran, Leyla Patel, Maya King, and Rooster Bing— and four faculty members—Karen Brown, AJ Goldman, Corey Heyward, and Clare Ward—participated in the annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC), and the adult counterpart, People of Color Conference (PoCC), both flagship conferences annually sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools. Attending the conferences allows the almost 8,000 participants from various independent schools across the nation to share in NAIS's commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning, and organizational development.    

During the five-day conference, Hornets attended a series of thought-provoking workshops, inspiring speakers, and affinity group spaces, all centered around the theme of “We The People: Leveraging Our Community to Preserve Our Humanity” The conferences serve as a way for Country Day students and adults to engage in an unforgettable and impactful inclusion experience, bring back to Country Day invaluable leadership and insights, and help lead the call to character and courage in the national movement of our time.  

The Cattle Car Experience

On January 11 and 12, the organization Hate Ends Now was on campus with “The Cattle Car,” a traveling, interactive, multimedia exhibit that teaches students about the forced deportations during the Holocaust.  The Cattle car experience consisted of a 21-minute video that included testimonies of Holocaust survivors.  One of the featured Holocaust survivors, Hedy Bohm, accompanied the Cattle Car and spoke to the students during the Thursday Upper School student assembly.  Upper School students and SCDS faculty not only had the opportunity to visit the interactive exhibit and hear from Hedy Bohm, but they were also able to visit an accompanying artifact exhibit that was housed for two days in the Jelks reception area.

Meet the CCI Team

Ms. Karen Brown

Director of Cultural Competency and Inclusion

Dr. Scott Joiner

Choral Director (MS & US), Upper School Cultural Competency & Inclusion Coordinator

Mrs. Sara Bocanegra

Middle School Spanish Teacher (6th & 7th Grade), Middle School Cultural Competency & Inclusion Co-Coordinator

Ms. Nadine Swartz

Middle & Upper School French Teacher, Middle School Cultural Competency & Inclusion Co-Coordinator

Ms. Merritt Jones

Lower School Music Teacher, Lower School Cultural Competency & Inclusion Coordinator

Ms. Jennifer Sams

Little School Teacher, Little School Cultural Competency & Inclusion Coordinator, Little School Cultural Competency and Inclusion Coordinator

At SCDS we understand the importance of celebrating our similarities while also recognizing that we are human individuals with diverse identities, including, but not limited to:
- ethnicity
- nationality

- age
- gender identity
- ability
- race
- religion
- sexual orientation
- family structure
- socioeconomic status