Diversity & Inclusion

What you learn from others at Branson is as important as any classwork.

That's why we strive to make our population, our classes, our policies, and the standards for how we treat one another be inclusive and supportive of differing cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints.

Stretch yourself. Tell stories. Listen with empathy and speak with compassion. Challenge what you know to be true. And learn about the truth of others.

At Branson, we create diverse and inclusive spaces that will leave you feeling welcomed and confident to explore and evolve your own values and beliefs.

You can expect to find a place where you will be accepted for who you are and where you’ll develop greater perspective, curiosity, and com­passion for those around you.

Pillars of this work:

Affinity Groups

Finding people with like experiences can provide insights and support. We sponsor affinity events for families, student affinity groups—based on race, culture, gender & gender-questioning, LGBTQ+ and more. Each year, new groups are created as our community changes and grows.

Faculty Education & Support

Becoming an inclusive community takes awareness, education, effort, reflection, and continual growth. Opportunities for our faculty and staff to engage in all these processes include:

  • Cultural Competency Training for Faculty
  • Diversity Committee
  • Opportunity to attend the People of Color Conference annually
  • Shadow Program

School Initiatives

In addition to personal reflection and growth, we institutionalize our commitment to making our school a community where everyone feels included, valued, and supported through the following schoolwide initiatives.

  • Co-Curricular Week focused on Diversity and Inclusion
  • Diversity Inclusion and Equity Strategic Planning Subcommittee
  • Freshman Transition Program
  • Global Diversity Inclusion Benchmarks
  • No Place for Hate School
  • Social Emotional Learning Survey

Student Training & Support

Our students have opportunities for connection, honest conversations, and advocacy through our:

  • Freshman Transition Program
  • Junior Fellowship for Equity and Social Justice
  • Retreats
  • Student Diversity Leadership Conference

GALLARD FELLOWSHIP

The Bess K. Gallard Fellowship enables us to bring a Morehouse College or Spelman College graduate to teach at Branson each year. Two Branson teachers, Alexandra Simmons and Malik Ali, are past Gallard Fellows. Another Gallard finalist— Nathalio Gray—is Branson’s Director of Admissions and former Dean of Diversity and Inclusion.

Branson Today

  • 36% students of color
  • 30% of students come from San Francisco, East Bay, and Sonoma County
  • Over $2 million in financial aid awarded annually
  • Administrative team is 30% people of color
  • Multiple Clubs/Affinity Groups
  • Rand Center offers academic support for different learning styles

Inspiring Martin Luther King Assembly Presented by STRIVE

STRIVE (Students Tackling Racial Issues Via Education) created and produced a multi-arts presentation designed to, as Meredith Herrera said "help us celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the principles he stood for that we try to emulate in our community."

Marco Castillo, Allie Benquiat, Elli Diaz, Nandi Maunder, Anne Overton, Chris Nolan, Rowan Karpa-Wilson, Tempest Baum, Scarlett Bach, Charlotte Case, Kate Dilley, Lila Felser, Dani Morgen, Isabel Scal, Max Cohen, and Allie Shimmon all spent time before, during, and after break crafting the performances, which included an introduction, three skits written by Nandi, and a dance piece choreographed by Georgia Ortega. Met with standing ovations, the presentations were powerful, inspiring, and thought provoking.

Special thanks to Georgia, Sabrina Wilson, Nathalio Gray, and DiAnn Montemayor for organizing the event.

See photos below in Photo Gallery.

Strong Showing at People of Color and Student Leadership Diversity Conferences

The Branson delegation represented strong at this year’s People of Color and Student Leadership Diversity Conferences, with 16 adults and 6 students! We a longstanding tradition of sending faculty and staff to do this important work and giving students an opportunity to meet, find support with, and learn from their peers nationwide.

Each year, nearly 6000 educators and students from independent schools across the country attend these conferences to join together and reaffirm our collective commitment to create more equitable and just schools. From powerful opening and closing sessions by Kimberlé Crenshaw and Ta-Nehisi Coates, respectively, to workshops focused on everything from Identity & Imagination to Service Learning & Empathy, this year's conference provided an opportunity for us to enhance our intercultural skills and increase our social emotional fluency.