Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging at Oakwood

"Oakwood School pledges our pursuit of excellence by intentionally fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community."

The DEIB mission statement was developed by the Oakwood School DEI Collaborative, an institution-spanning group of students, faculty, staff, parents & guardians, and alumni, and ratified officially by the Board of Trustees on March 3, 2021.

Click here to read full DEIB Mission Statement

“We intend an Oakwood education to foster a sense of community. We seek to create a vibrant public life in the school, where students learn to express themselves fluently and responsibly and to consider differing perspectives respectfully. We believe that an environment most conducive to learning and growth is diverse and inclusive.”

—from Oakwood's Statement of Philosophy

2019 Diversity Week Alumni & Student Speakers

Reflecting the values at the core of our Statement of Philosophy, Oakwood is committed to fostering an inclusive academic and social environment where every member of our community is valued and feels a sense of belonging.

Elementary Campus

Our students, from kindergarten on, experience difference and learn that character is more than skin-deep. Opportunities for actively teaching students about the need for open-mindedness and affirmation of different perspectives arise through Morning Meetings as well as in the classroom. Elementary curriculum reaches into a variety of cultures for lessons in social studies, the arts, science, readings, field trips, and the celebration of a multitude of holidays.

Secondary Campus

Oakwood Secondary Campus continuously strives to create a trusting, respectful, and inclusive learning environment and culture, inside and outside the classroom, where students feel confident to express and develop their own voice, values, and gifts. Our students gain the skills and knowledge to critically explore and assess their own and others’ assumptions and biases in order to reach less binary, more nuanced conclusions and to understand problems and solutions from multiple points of view. Here, students can form authentic, meaningful, and rich relationships across areas of difference. Our goal is to connect, empower, and support students, as well as promote the richness and diversity of their cultures within and outside of Oakwood.

Student groups meet either weekly or bi-weekly year-round and are one way that students, faculty, and parents are engaged to think about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to translate thoughts into actions.


Affinity Groups provide a space for people who have an identifier in common (e.g. race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, family status, etc.) and can speak to the experience of being a member of the group from an "I" perspective. For additional information about the purpose and value of affinity groups, please click here for an article entitled "Making Space," or here for FAQ prepared by Rosetta Lee.  

Current Affinity Groups are:

  • Adopted Affinity Group
  • Asian Affinity Group
  • BMORE (Black/Brown Men at Oakwood Representing Excellence)
  • CAAMASO (Connecting African, African American, and Multiracial African American Students at Oakwood)
  • Divas of Color
  • Jewish Affinity Group
  • Middle Eastern Affinity Group
  • Multiracial Affinity Group
  • Somos Unidos (Latinx Affinity Group)

Alliance Groups bring together people who have common commitments to an identifier group and are for individuals who identify as members of the group and/or as people who support and stand in solidarity with that group. This category includes groups such as...

  • The Rainbow Alliance
  • Gender Equality Club at Oakwood

Interest Groups welcome people who want to learn about, share, and engage in a special interest, hobby, skill, or topic. Current interest groups on campus are...

  • Best Buddies (Supports students with special needs)
  • Cultural Awareness Association (CAA)
  • Girls Learn International (GLI)
  • Oakwood Students for Progressive Reform (OSPR)

Parent Organization Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Open to all Oakwood K-12 parents and guardians, and co-chaired by Oakwood parents, this committee works within the Parent Organization to provide opportunities for parents to engage in conversations and discourse regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Oakwood community and beyond. The committee also sponsors and hosts Voices Envisioned, a series of diversity-themed evening events.


Voices Envisioned is a series of events for the entire Oakwood community to explore important issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. Sponsored by the DEIB Office and Parent & Guardian Organization DEIB Committee, it has featured presentations and appearances by the world's most prominent authors, artists, activists, and educators. Click here to learn more about this year's Voices Envisioned speaker series.


The Voices Envisioned book club is an opportunity for Oakwood parents, faculty, and alumni to collectively engage in a year-long conversation on issues that are central to our school philosophy.

Waking Up White

Events & Programs

At Oakwood, we believe it is important to make time during the school day and beyond to reflect on issues of diversity. We come together as a community to explore our commitment to this core value on a regular basis through a number of established events and programs.


This is a student-initiated event first launched in 2006 as “Diversity Day.” This annual celebration focuses our school community on the critical exploration of issues of difference, equity, justice, inclusion, and positive identity development. Activities include featured speakers, affinity group meetings, student-designed workshops, and more.


Affinity Gatherings take the affinity group from just being about the student to including the entire family. By bringing together families who have an identifier in common, e.g. race, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc., it allows for families to connect with each other, and other faculty, staff, and administrators in a more relaxed and celebratory way. These events are held annually and include:

  • Adopted Family Gathering
  • Asian Family Gathering
  • CAAMASO Family Gathering
  • Somos Unidos Affinity Gathering
  • LGBTQ+ Affinity Gathering

An annual gathering of independent school student leaders (9-12) from around the country that focuses on the development of self-identity and the search for community spirit and understanding. Each year a delegation of Oakwood students attends SDLC to foster and support emerging student leadership. Students return from the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference with a broadened perspective on diversity, equity, and inclusion at Oakwood, as well as common language, to identify and articulate these issues. Students also gain greater self-awareness, stronger leadership skills, and renewed conviction about the productive and valuable role they can play in helping Oakwood continue to become a more inclusive school.


The purpose of the NAIS People of Color Conference is to provide a safe space for networking, collaboration, learning, and development for people of color and allies working in independent schools. For decades, PoCC has nourished and sustained people of color in independent schools. In essence, it is an international affinity group space, one that gives voice to, protects, affirms, and dignifies the unique experiences of people of color in our schools and society at large. It is a space to learn and a space to heal. It is a space to convene, and a space to share with people who understand. We are proud to say that 2019 marks Oakwood’s 32nd year participating in PoCC and our 26th at SDLC.


Women|Space is a biennial conference held on campus that hosts esteemed speakers and stimulating workshops, offering students and families the opportunity to explore topics of gender and gender equity while also expressing our community's dedication to justice for all. 

Oakwood Stories

Stories on Life at Oakwood

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Toyin Augustus
Director of DEIB Programs

Kevin Golden
Assistant Principal K-6/Associate Director of DEI Programs K-12

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11600 Magnolia Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91601-3015
Oakwood Secondary Campus 818-732-3000
Oakwood Elementary Campus 818-732-3500

The Oakwood School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs