DiversityIS magazine announced that Yvonne Adams, director of equity and inclusion at St. Stephen’s, is a recipient of the 2019 DiversityIS Leadership in Diversity Award. This award recognizes individuals at K-12 independent schools in the United States who have done exceptional work in encouraging and supporting the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students and employees. Adams will be profiled in the upcoming summer 2019 issue of DiversityIS magazine along with other award recipients.
Adams has worked at St. Stephen’s since 1993, serving in a variety of administrative roles. In her current position, she teaches students to navigate difficult conversations about a range of topics — from bigotry and hatred, to DACA and deportation, to protecting the human rights of natural disaster victims. Ultimately, she strives to move students beyond tolerance to true understanding so they can grow into independent learners and responsible global citizens of the world. Adams also works closely with school administrators to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce by offering services and resources that foster a more equitable and inclusive work environment.
“For more than 25 years, Yvonne has taught our school to lean into discomfort by challenging structures and ways of thinking that limit our community from fulfilling its mission,” said Chris Gunnin, head of school at St. Stephen’s. “Whether she is facilitating student discussions about potentially divisive topics or working with our human resources director to recruit employees from underrepresented groups, Yvonne helps every student and every adult feel valued and empowered to create a more just and equitable world.”
In March, Adams launched the school’s inaugural diversity conference, “Radical Hope,” which featured nationally renowned keynote speakers, as well as workshops for students and training sessions for faculty and staff. The conference attracted more than 200 students and educators from schools throughout Texas.