On my first official day as Dana Hall’s Director of Community, Equity and Inclusion, I was warmly welcomed with smiles, hugs, a box of Lysol wipes and of course, plenty of Dana Hall swag. A couple of days later, with my Dana Hall Blue Tote in tow, I set off to an excellent professional development conference, Diversity Directions, to further my understanding on the opportunities and challenges independent schools face as they commit to building more authentic, equitable and inclusive school communities.
Within minutes of arriving in Andover, an animated woman stopped me to ask if I had graduated from Dana Hall. She was an alumna, had seen my bag and had so many questions! Almost before I could answer, she wanted to know if several traditions were still intact and right away shared some of her favorite experiences as a Dana Hall boarding student. As we continued chatting, I learned about her successful career as the chief financial officer at another well respected independent school and about her life’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice.
I was relieved, giddy and admittedly a bit confused by her enthusiasm. As a Wellesley transplant, I had yet to realize that by wearing Dana Blue (thank you, Mrs. Katherine Bradley) I would be immediately picked out, and embraced, by somebody in a crowd who knows what the Blue means, even if she knew nothing about me personally. I know she instantly felt a connection — I felt it too! This connection affirmed that being a part of this vibrant community of women is a gift and a privilege.
Yet I couldn’t help but reflect on the responsibility we all take on when we rock our Dana Blue. By wearing our Blue, I represented all of us at that conference. My words, body language, attitude, jokes — all of this represented Dana Hall. The students at Dana Hall understand the power of the Blue, with all of its perks and responsibility. My hope is that we all wear our Blue with joy, pride and humility.
Whether we are grabbing fro-yo at Truly’s, engaging in a community dialogue, or posting on our Instagram stories, we are held to a standard of excellence in leadership. I am so grateful to be part of this community that is a world leader in women’s education. I hope that the next time you wear your Blue, you will take a moment to honor the legacy, wisdom and power of thousands of women standing behind you. Use it for good!