Equity & Social Impact


Join the circle; shape our community; enrich our shared experience.  


At Castilleja each of us is responsible for fostering an equitable, respectful, and just community.  We believe that our connections to others are more meaningful when they are experienced in a diverse community that invites members to bring all aspects of their respective identities into our shared space.  

At Castilleja we are all learners together, and we collectively commit to engaging in active listening, courageous conversations, and compassionate leadership that heightens our understanding of one another and the world around us.

We learn from and highlight the diversity of our community by creating intentional spaces, facilitating learning opportunities, and dedicating resources in order to make it possible for us to be more equitable, diverse, and inclusive.  

Intentional Spaces

Affinity Groups

Castilleja was founded as an affinity group for young women over a century ago. Today, we continue to support students in their leadership development through the school’s mission to educate and empower them to use their voices and talents on and beyond the Circle.

An affinity group’s purpose is to provide an opportunity for members to be in a space where they share an aspect of identity that often is in the minority, and experience it from the perspective of being in the majority.

This allows them to grow personally and empowers them to be more fully themselves as members of the broader community. Students and parents/guardians are encouraged to propose new groups as there is interest.


Learn more about our affinity groups here.

  • Black Student Union (BSU)
  • Chinese+
  • Christian
  • Filipinx
  • Jewish Student Association (JSA)
  • Latinx
  • Mixed Asian Race Students (MARS)
  • South Asian
  • Women of Color (WOC)

SEED

The National SEED ProjectSM is a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity.   

Castilleja’s SEED group is open to all employees and meets consistently throughout the school year.

ACE Organizations

ACE Organizations are student-led organizations which focus around a specific cause, provide support to a local non-profit, or educate the community on a certain issue.  

Castilleja’s equity and inclusion-focused ACE Orgs include Diversity ACE Org and CAIE - Community Alliance for Identity and Expression.

Parent and Guardian Education and Inclusion Committee

This parent and guardian committee’s purpose is to partner with the school to gain a broader awareness and deeper understanding of current family experiences at Castilleja, so that school policies and procedures, as well as community practices, can foster an informed, equitable, inclusive, and engaged family experience at the school.

Head of School Coffees

Each year our Head of School hosts a series of coffees dedicated to honest and generative conversation about a range of topics in the field of education, parenting, and student life in general.

Learning Opportunities

Professional Development

All employees at Castilleja are expected to participate in ongoing professional development opportunities in the area of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and they are encouraged to engage in learning that has a direct impact on their specific work at Castilleja.

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

All Castilleja teachers choose to join one of several internal professional learning communities.  

Each year there is one PLC dedicated to some aspect of equity and social impact that examines some aspect of the school’s climate, programs, processes, or protocols.

Local and Global Experiential Programming

Castilleja students and educators participate in local and global experiential programming that is designed to further their development of initiative, agility, and purpose and introduce them to cultures and ideas that challenge their preconceived ideas.

Professional Affiliations

Castilleja is a proud member of POCIS (People of Color in Independent Schools) and NNSP (National Network of Schools in Partnership) and is committed to participating at a national level in the conversation about and implementation of best practices in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social impact.

Each year Castilleja sends employee and student delegations to NAIS’ People of Color Conference (POCC) and Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC).

Speakers

Each year Castilleja students have the opportunity to hear from thought leaders who speak to them directly about how they make change in the world.

The inspiration that students feel is long lasting and is often cited by alumnae as among their most impactful learning experiences at the school.

Dedicated Resources

One Castilleja Experience Program

Each student at Castilleja brings a variety of assets and divergent life experiences to our Circle.

One Castilleja Experience is a coordinated program that identifies and provides the resources to tuition assistance recipients who need specific types of support to engage fully in all that Castilleja has to offer.