Lexington Books, 2017

French offers an in-depth look at "diversity" within predominantly white independent schools in the northeastern U.S. from the perspective of policy developers and implementers.  "Diversity", which began as a euphemism for racial integration, is largely unquestioned as a positive goal within schools.  However, the nebulous and ever-expanding meaning of "diversity" has meant a drastic shift from the original mission of racial integration to a practice that serves to institutionalize the unequal status quo.

-Immaculee Harushimana

Lehman College

"highly relevant and important"

-Susan V. Iverson

Manhattanville College

"French's critical analysis of race in independent day schools is a must read for educational leaders, but also for students, parents and the wider public."

Race at Predominantly White Independent Schools: The Space between Diversity and Equity

"a welcome contribution to the study of diversity."

-Adalberto Aguirre, Jr.

University of California, Riverside

Diversity: Words, Meaning and Race at Predominantly White, Independent Schools

ABSTRACT:  This paper investigates the current meaning of “Diversity” in elite, predominantly white, independent schools in the U.S. The author collected data from in-depth interviews with a variety of school personnel. This data was supported by student enrollment data from the National Association of Independent Schools. Findings indicate that current “Diversity” work centers around inclusion and cultural fluency and not racial equity. Simultaneously, while the representation of students of color increased in the last several decades, the representation of Black students at the same time has remained virtually stagnant. Using Critical Race Theory, the author concludes that “Diversity” is a façade of progress and there is no indication of true racial equity to support it.

​© 2018 Bonnie E. French