Why Riverdale

Thriving at Riverdale

Students who thrive at Riverdale feel seen by administrators, teachers, coaches, and staff. They feel heard in group discussions. They feel valued for who they are. They participate in school activities. They foster empathy and critical thinking as they learn from people who are different from themselves. As they grow and learn, they become better communicators, collaborators, and leaders. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) creates educational excellence for all.


Riverdale is one of the only places I know of where you can truly be who you want to be.

current student

DEIB at Riverdale

DEIB is the foundational core of the anti-racist, anti-bias, and transformational work that Riverdale is doing to ensure students, faculty/staff, families, and alumni feel seen, heard, and valued.

Our understanding of DEIB focuses on eight identifiers: race/ethnicity, gender identity, family structure, sexual orientation, age, ability, socio-economic status, and belief systems. We use the Social Justice Standards developed by Teaching Tolerance to provide a roadmap for how we think about our work as an institution. These standards are divided into four domains — identity, diversity, justice, and action (IDJA) — and encompass anti-bias, multicultural, and social justice education. Beyond the IDJA framework, we use the examination of counter-arguments and opportunities for reflection in order to further enrich our discourse as a community.

DEIB at Riverdale is composed of two key branches: Community Engagement (CET) and Institutional Equity (IE).


Our Commitment

At Riverdale, we recognize that the work of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is iterative and requires a consistent commitment. It is not a checklist that can be completed by a few people. It is everyone’s work. We prioritize transparency and accountability as a school community and demonstrate that through our yearly Institutional Equity Plan. This living document outlines our commitment to become an anti-racist, anti-bias institution, and a safe space for LGBTQIA faculty, staff, and students.


Right now we recommit to purposeful public action to becoming an antiracist and anti-bias institution, stamp out sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, transphobia, Islamophobia in all forms, and that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are not just said but felt by all members of our community.

Dominic AA Randolph
HEAD OF SCHOOL
Oct. 29, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of DEIB? 

Our Goals

Diversity Goal: How might we move from acknowledging differences to designing a space that understands intersectionality?

Equity Goal: How might we identify the unequal starting places and provide the necessary resources that ensure everyone has the same opportunities?

Inclusion Goal: How might we decenter the dominant narrative so that the thoughts, ideas, and perspectives of all individuals are valued and necessary? 

Belonging Goal: How might we create a community where discourse thrives and all views, beliefs, and values are integral?

What Is Community Engagement?

The CET

The CET (Community Engagement Team) is made up of administrators, faculty, and staff on both campuses. The CET leads, organizes, and runs assembly programming; special events; heritage celebrations; adult, alumni, and student affinity programs; and some community of learning opportunities for faculty/staff, students, and families at Riverdale.

What Is Institutional Equity? 

Institutional Equity

Institutional Equity is the condition that would be achieved if one’s social identifiers no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one experiences the Riverdale community. When we use the term, we are thinking about institutional equity as part of the social justice framework and thus the work aims to address the root causes of inequities not just their manifestation. This includes examination and restructuring of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes or fail to eliminate them.

How does Institutional Equity link to the work of CET?

Institutional Equity and CET

How does Institutional Equity link to the work of the CET?

It creates the institutional structures and culture that allow the work of the CET to be an essential and ongoing celebration rather than a momentary outlet. CET becomes a part of a larger whole that is working to ensure that students, faculty/staff, and families feel seen, valued, and heard.


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Pablo A. Martinez, who teaches French and Spanish at Riverdale, describes why he chose to come to the school for…

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