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Diversity & Inclusion


First page of the PDF file: mottofinal


To live more fully into our Motto, the Episcopal Collegiate Board of Trustees made a promise last June to renew our commitment to providing a learning environment where every student can experience the strongest sense of belonging. They stated unequivocally that we must demonstrate through our words and our deeds what it means to be a member of a truly inclusive community, one that embraces differences and values diversity. Our School remains resolute in its faithfulness to these principles.

The Board has created a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to help guide our diversity and inclusion efforts. To ensure that every member of our community has an opportunity to participate in this work, three new Diversity Councils at Episcopal have been established: an Alumni Diversity Council, a Parents' Diversity Council, and a Faculty Diversity Council. These groups will work in tandem with the current Student Diversity Council founded in 2010 by faculty sponsor, Debbie Pettibone.

Although the School has been committed since its inception to cultivating a more diverse and inclusive environment, we acknowledge that we need to do more. To assist the School, Episcopal has partnered with Dr. Derrick Gay, an internationally recognized advisor on diversity and inclusion work in independent schools, to help us build a more diverse and inclusive learning environment. Dr. Gay is a highly-sought-after educator and speaker and has more than 20 years of diversity and inclusion experience, specializing in helping institutions lay a foundation to carry on this work for years to come.  In addition to his extensive work with independent schools, he serves as a content advisor for Sesame Street. Dr. Gay has also been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes, PBS, and NPR. 

During the 2020-21 school year, Dr. Gay will work with the Board of Trustees, Senior Administration, the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and Diversity Councils on a number of initiatives. He will start by leading custom workshops for students, faculty, parents, and alumni to build awareness, cultivate a shared vision, and develop a common language around diversity. Dr. Gay will also conduct a comprehensive climate assessment, including surveys and focus groups. Analysis from this assessment will be used to inform changes we need to make as a School to ensure that each member of our community feels valued and embraced.

Meet Our Advisor, Dr. Derrick Gay:


"We need to prepare students for the knowledge, skills and competencies that they need to flourish and be successful in this interconnected, global world."

-Dr. Derrick Gay

Dr. Derrick Gay has an expansive resume with his career in Diversity and Inclusion work. Some of his most recent clients include: Phantom of the Opera, Tom Ford, Columbia Business School, Grosvenor GCM, Barilla, and Business of Fashion. Recent education clients include: Sesame Street, KIPP Public Schools, International Fashion Academy, Latin School of Chicago, and more. 

Dr. Gay has produced two Tedx Talks: The Double Edged Sword, and Why Elephants Hold the Key to Success in the 21st Century.

To read Dr. Gay’s full bio, please click here and to view Dr. Gay's list of clients, click here.

We encourage you to explore Dr. Gay's Tedx Talk, The Double Edged Sword and his feature interview with the Latin School of Chicago below.

The Double Edged Sword, Dr. Gay's Tedx Talk

Dr. Gay's Interview with the Latin School of Chicago

Junior John Michael Murphy Interviews Dr. Derrick Gay

Recently, John Michael Murphy, a Junior in the Advanced Broadcast Journalism Class, interviewed Dr. Derrick Gay about the diversity and inclusion work that he is doing with our school. This video was done in conjunction with ECTV, our broadcast journalism class. We hope you will take a moment to watch the video interview to the right!

Meet our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Co-Chairs:

Dr. Christopher Jones

Dr. Jones is an Episcopal parent and the Executive Director of the Arkansas Innovation Hub. In addition to being a nuclear engineer, he has dedicated years of his life working in the fields of entrepreneurship, economic development, and diversity. To learn more about Dr. Jones, click here.

Ms. Elizabeth Phillips

Ms. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Phillips is a member of the Episcopal Collegiate Board of Trustees and currently serves as Chief Information Officer at Stephens Insurance. She has an extensive background in economic analysis and data science. To learn more about Ms. Phillips, click here.

Task Force Members

Interested in Participating in this Initiative?Thank you to those who have already indicated an interest in this work through the previous "Join the Conversation" form or by email. 

If you are interested in joining the Parents’ Diversity Council (Current and Alumni Parents), the Alumni Diversity Council, the Faculty Diversity Council, or the Student Diversity Council (Middle and Upper School Students) please follow the link below to fill out a form.