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Diversity & Inclusion

Riverside is a school that fosters an inclusive culture of belonging that embraces the value and worth that each unique individual brings to the school community.

The value of a diverse and inclusive school community lies in our mission…

At Riverside Presbyterian Day School we believe that embracing inclusivity and belonging enriches our school community and prepares our children for a global, multicultural world. The RPDS community loves and respects all human beings in a manner consistent with our school mission. Each family completes and contributes to the body of Riverside. We strive to foster relationships by encouraging our school community to appreciate, understand and learn from others, thus demonstrating God’s unconditional love.

The value of a diverse and inclusive school community is embedded in our strategic plan…

Strategic Plan • Diversity & Inclusion

The value of a diverse and inclusive school is demonstrated by our actions…

Conferences, Speakers and Professional Development

Riverside’s faculty and staff are committed to ongoing learning and development by leading and attending workshops, conferences, and trainings on a range of diversity topics. 

The NORTH FLORIDA DIVERSITY PRACTIONERS COHORT was started by RPDS in 2019 and offers monthly meet ups for Independent School educators involved in DEI work across north Florida.

Our faculty take the lead nationally by presenting workshops at the NAIS National Conference, the Florida Council of Independent Schools Annual Convention, and by serving as affinity group leaders at the NAIS People of Color Conference.

Faculty and administration have participated in renowned training at the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute, The Equity Exchange, the White Privilege Institute and The Diversity Initiative@Riverside, among others.

Diversity Initiative at Riverside

The Diversity Initiative at Riverside is intended to promote personal growth and pedagogical approaches that support equity-minded education and global competencies in our schools.

Leadership committees supporting the value of diversity and inclusion at Riverside

The Board of Directors Diversity and Inclusion Committee supports the strategic plan in order to fulfil the mission of the school.

The Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Committee works to support the school and its faculty in their equity practices, both pedagogically and systemically. 

The Parent Diversity and Inclusion Committee supports the school by assisting with the development of Riverside’s DEI goals and leads key initiatives with the parent community.  This committee embraces the heart, hands and minds of our diversity initiative. 

The Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Committee bring forward the importance of diversity, inclusion and global competencies using highly effective teaching practices and deep-thinking routines that engage students in an empathetic understanding of others.

Speaker Series, Visiting Authors and Book Clubs

Throughout the year, Riverside brings in speakers and authors of different backgrounds, perspectives, and situations. Some notable speakers include: 

  • Jarik Conrad, EdD, MBA, MILR, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CPT, award-winning author of the book The Fragile Mind: How It Has Produced and Unwittingly Perpetuates America's Tragic Disparities, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and executive coach. He grew up in public housing in East St. Louis, IL, which has been described as the most distressed small city in America.
  • Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee, is a highly regarded national expert on diversity and inclusion.  She is a caculty member on the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute, a lead facilitator for The Equity Exchange and a respected advisor to many NAIS Independent Schools. 
  • Rodney Hurst, Sr., Black historian and award-winning author of, “It Was Never About a Hot Dog and a Coke®!” and “Unless WE Tell It… It Never Gets Told!” He is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and writes with clarity and a historical eye.
  • Ibram X. Kendi, a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight books, professor, and historian. 
Celebrating Heritage and Global Engagement

Examining the history, traditions and heritage of other countries allows us to grow our global citizenship, develop empathy, and enhance our cultural understanding and respect for difference.

We engage globally with others through Level Up Village, Global Read Aloud, school to school collaborations, and experiential field trips. 

We celebrate the heritage of others by honoring the unique aspects of world cultures through learning about what makes up a cultures’ values and beliefs. We seek to understand how those core values are reflected in daily life in order to grow our global competence in a meaningful way.  The RPDS school community honors Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples Month, Black History Month, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Monty to name a few.

Riverside Belonging Project

The Belonging Project is a remarkable collaborative art project that weaves together the individual faces of our Riverside community in such a way that that invites observers to see and feel the uniqueness each one of us brings to RPDS. The Riverside Belonging Project joyfully celebrates our common humanity and serves as a tangible representation that we are one and that RPDS remains a place for all.

An extension to the Belonging Project called What’s in a Name aims to build upon the pictures in the Belonging Project by adding stories associated with our names.  It is in the stories of our names that we may discover a deeper level of understanding of each other and a greater sense of belonging in our school community.

2023 Dates to be Announced

The Diversity Initiative at Riverside is intended to promote personal growth and pedagogical approaches that support equity-minded education and global competencies in our schools.

Learn More

Jan Reeder

Director of Diversity & Inclusion