Community Life and Diversity


Chapin's Commitment to Diversity

Chapin is committed to diversity in its culture, curriculum and program. Believing that an equitable, inclusive community is essential to learning, Chapin actively seeks families, faculty and staff who bring a range of experiences to the school. Chapin embraces and respects differences in age, ethnicity, gender, learning style, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic class. Expecting and requiring respect for others are hallmarks of our educational process.

Chapin's Community Life and Diversity Council:

The Community Life and Diversity Council, established in August of 2013, is a seven-member team comprised of faculty members from each division of the school, led by the Coordinator of Community Life and Diversity. Using Chapin’s Commitment to Diversity and Mission Statement as guides, the Council is responsible for examining diversity across a multitude of social identifiers—that include but are not limited to—age, ethnicity, gender, learning style, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic class within the Chapin community. The group exists to ensure that equity and diversity in Chapin’s culture, curriculum and program support a culturally competent community that is safe and welcoming for all.

2015 - 2016 Council members:

Director of Community Life and Diversity: Erica Corbin

Lower School: Lisa Stephen, Elena Jaime

Middle School: Jack Cooley, Lynette Engel, Jonathan Shiller

Upper School: Dr. Prasad Akavoor, Andrea Kassar, Elise Rodriguez

K-12: Courtney Archer-Buckmire

Community Life and Diversity for students

Lower School: Mosaic

Lower School students from Kindergarten - Class 3 come together during this after-school program focused on culture, community and diversity. Supervised by experienced teachers, the students meet once per week and have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers in discussion groups, participate in engaging activities and create projects together.

Activities may include:

  • "All About Me" Project: Students are asked to work with their families to create a collection of items that 
reflect their culture, heritage, and family traditions. The girls then share their collections with the group in a show-and-tell format.
  • International Week: Students engage in activities that link to Chapin's annual school-wide theme. Past themes have included "Empowering Women," and “Brave for Others, Brave 
for Self.”
  • Creating Mosaic art work.
  • Visits from Special Guests, including Lower School teachers and Middle and Upper Upper School students.

Middle School: Cultural Awareness Program (C.A.P.)

Girls in Classes 4 through 7 explore the rich diversity of cultures, both within the United States and around the world, that make ours a global community. Students examine customs, beliefs, holidays, festivals, entertainment, traditional clothing, art, geography, family life, religion, cuisines and other important values.

Activities include reading fables, watching multicultural videos, doing Internet research about how children live in other parts of the world, an international cuisine day and multimedia presentations to the Middle School and the rest of the Chapin community.

Upper School: Cultural Awareness Program (C.A.P.)

C.A.P. is open to all Upper School students who are interested in culture and diversity. The group meets weekly to discuss issues in the media, at Chapin and the world at large. C.A.P. members have been involved in activities such as the Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students, the Night of Noise Coffee House and the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference. The roots of C.A.P. at Chapin go back to 1972, when students founded the Black Studies Club. The group later evolved into the Intercultural Club and, in turn, became the Cultural Awareness Project. The current name dates from 1987.

Upper School: Gay-Straight Alliance (G.S.A.)

The Gay-Straight Alliance (G.S.A.), open to all students, is dedicated to creating a safe environment for all at Chapin. The club raises awareness about the discrimination suffered by gay youth and seeks ensure that no one feels discriminated against. Past events have included the Day Without Art, Ally Week, the National Day of Silence and the AIDS Walk. Discussions cover current issues in the media as well as topics of interest within our own community.

Community Life and Diversity for Alumnae, Board of Trustees and Parents

Alumnae: Alumnae Cultural Awareness Program (A.C.A.P.)

An outgrowth of the student Cultural Awareness Programs (C.A.P.), this alumnae group meets to discuss diversity-related issues at Chapin. Alumnae C.A.P. also connects alumnae to current students for mentoring, internships, summer jobs and other opportunities, with a special emphasis on connecting alumnae of color with current students of color. For more information or to join the group, contact the Alumnae Office at 212.744.5007 or email

Board of Trustees: Trustee Diversity Committee

This committee oversees and supports the school’s commitment to community, diversity and global citizenship. In particular, this committee oversees the school’s practices to ensure that they reflect and enhance its strong sense of community, supports outreach to develop a diverse applicant pool in admissions and hiring, helps to maintain the school’s commitment to financial aid, oversees opportunities to foster communication around diversity and global awareness, as well as the development of institutional partnerships, exchange and travel opportunities that promote the responsibilities of global citizenship for every Chapin graduate.

Parents: Parents of Children of Color (P.O.C.C.)

This group fosters a more diverse cultural experience for all students and seeks to enhance the social exchange between students, parents, faculty and administrators of diverse backgrounds. The group strives to maximize the recognition of the unique minority communities that Chapin serves. All Chapin parents are encouraged to attend P.O.C.C. meetings, and any parent who has a daughter of color in the school may become a member. For more information or to join the group, please email

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