Equity & Diversity

Our Mission

The mission of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Opportunities is to intentionally foster institutional equity, diversity and inclusion. This includes raising awareness, providing strategies, identifying opportunities and developing viable tools that bring to life the vision of inclusive excellence, both in our schools and community.

Our Vision

The vision of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Opportunities is to lead among peers as a learning and workplace environment that is representative of our national and global societies, one that accepts and values everyone, both in word and deed.  

Our Commitment

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Opportunities is committed to building an inclusive and diverse school community. We understand that every student and staff member — whatever their race; gender; age; ethnicity; cultural heritage or nationality; religious or family structure; sexual orientation or gender identity; or socioeconomic and ability status — has the right to inclusion, respect, agency and voice in the HCPS community.

Monica Mann Headshot

Photo credit: Jay Paul

Message From Our Director, Dr. Monica Manns

Welcome! Since joining Henrico Schools in 2018 as the school division’s first director of equity and diversity, it has been my privilege to begin this journey.
 
The HCPS Department of Equity and Diversity aims to foster diversity and opportunity by understanding, identifying and helping eliminate biases, barriers and harmful power dynamics. In order for our students to learn, grow and fully contribute to society, they need paths without barriers. We believe an equitable, inclusive public education system is a cornerstone of our democratic society and that your local school system should serve as a pillar for our community. How do we achieve that? 
 

Equity

An equitable educational environment is about student empowerment, ensuring that all students have what they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. This includes students from historically marginalized and fiscally under-resourced communities; students in special education programs, English-language learners and other students with diverse educational needs. 


Fairness

The Department of Equity and Diversity is particularly focused on the promotion of fairness. Fairness means ensuring that personal and social circumstances do not prevent students from achieving their academic potential.
 

Diversity – Inclusivity

Inclusive education recognizes that students need cultural knowledge about themselves and others. More than ever before, students need to see themselves reflected in their learning environment, as well as appreciate someone else’s worldview. The ability to see the world from one’s own viewpoint and another’s at the same time allows us to perceive the world in three dimensions. 

Opportunities

The Equity and Diversity Department is particularly focused on ensuring that our instruction provides opportunities for students to see the world in three dimensions. This strengthens our society, ensuring a cohesion which embraces the fundamental values of America.

 

Our goal

HCPS’ goal is to produce citizens that have the skills needed to be college- and/or career-ready. We need to make sure they get the skills they’ll need in our current workforce. HCPS’ Equity and Diversity Department is particularly poised to support these efforts by championing programming that promotes cultural competency for both students and staff. Private-sector employers today truly understand the need for culturally competent employees. A vast and growing body of research has found an ever-increasing need for language and intercultural competence in virtually all professions. These reports all highlight the urgency to add these elements to one’s education.
 
Dr. Monica Manns 
Director, Department of Equity and Diversity 
 
“Be they urban, rural, large or small, homogenous or diverse, given the myriad of challenges facing schools in the America and around the world, simply assigning the same, cookie-cutter education solution is not only ineffective, it is a miscarriage of justice.”
– Mark A. Elgart., Ed.D.

 

Profiles in Educational Equity Podcast

Equity Ambassadors in Henrico County Public Schools

This program brings together student representatives from each of the high schools in Henrico County who are charged with launching initiatives to advance equity in their schools. Listen to learn more about the impact that this program is already making across the division in its inaugural year, as well as how they plan to build on that momentum. Hosted by David Naff Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC) Assistant Director.

Equity & Diversity Advisory Committee

                       Member Names and Subcommittees

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Tonia Churchwell: Communications
April Johnson: Communications
Jerry Zhang: Communications
Joelle Young: Diversity
Paule “a” Houng Beke: Diversity
Sallie Havey: Diversity
Steve Burner: Diversity
Dvora Courtland: Diversity
Jose Florez: Diversity
Christina Tillery: Equity
Erika Carson: Equity
Jeanne McKeon: Equity
Randall Mangrum: Equity

Rebecca Field: Equity
Stephanie Williams: Equity
Tanika Lawson: Equity
Ali Akbor: Equity
Founkou Djoendia: One Henrico
Noora Ramadan: One Henrico
Amanda Schneck: One Henrico
Price Davis: One Henrico
Patricia Perry
Preston Phaup
Ronald Young
Zayin Roe