Stoneleigh-Burnham School welcomes new director of diversity and inclusion

  • MOZEA

Staff Writer
Published: 7/27/2021 3:53:49 PM

GREENFIELD — Despite a national search for its first-ever director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), Stoneleigh-Burnham School’s newest appointee was right in its backyard.

The girls’ boarding and day school chose Sunderland resident Amanda Mozea, who has a background working as the Frontier Regional and Union 38 school districts’ DEI consultant, for its newest position.

Sam Sattin Torres, a member of Stoneleigh-Burnham’s Class of 2008, and now student life and DEI coordinator, wrote in an email that the new position was created in an effort to produce a more inclusive environment.

“It is our duty as a school and an employer to provide an experience where student and adult voices and identities are fully acknowledged, supported and defended,” Sattin Torres said. “This new role creates a higher priority for this work, and an opportunity for actions that will create greater equality and justice for every member of the community.”

Mozea, who started July 1, said she is settling into the job and is developing plans for the school year.

“I’m really starting to get my bearings,” Mozea said. “I’ve been in a lot of meetings trying to figure out what our priorities are.”

Mozea graduated from Harvard University in 2018 and spent a few years working in Boston for MEDIAGIRLS, an organization that teaches girls how to be critical social media consumers. She never envisioned returning to Franklin County, but the pandemic brought her back.

“All of the draws of the city, all of the things that made it exciting are what made it dangerous,” Mozea said. “I came back and did not anticipate staying, but this opportunity came by and I couldn’t pass it up.”

Before starting at Stoneleigh-Burnham, Mozea worked as a DEI consultant for the Frontier Regional and Union 38 school districts, which is where she went to school from kindergarten through 12th grade. She noted how a group of alumni wrote a letter to the school encouraging it to work toward an anti-racist education.

Sattin Torres said Stoneleigh-Burnham began its national search for a DEI director in 2020 and spent the year recruiting and interviewing for the position. However, the idea for this position started in 2018.

“We have been establishing a foundation for this position since 2018,” Sattin Torres explained, “when we began working with DEI consultants to develop a comprehensive, community-wide mission for diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.”

Sattin Torres said the position’s responsibilities will involve initiatives to “create, evaluate and implement culturally inclusive and anti-racist curriculum and pedagogy.”

Mozea said “the jury is still out” on what her actual plans will be, but she wants to empower both students and adults.

“I’ll make a million plans about what it looks like and as soon as a single student steps on campus it will change,” Mozea said. “We want to have conversations and action plans around justice, around racism, around sexism, homophobia. … In any relationship, a part of that is having very difficult conversations.”

Mozea said she can’t wait to start working with students.

“Oh my goodness, that’ll be the best part of the job,” Mozea exclaimed. “I’m really excited to be here.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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