Branksome Hall is pleased to announce that Anima Leadership has been selected to conduct a comprehensive third-party Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) audit of the school’s environment, policies, plans and documents. The audit is a critical foundational component of its DEI strategy.
“In our pursuit of continuous improvement, Branksome Hall is committed to evidence-based decision-making,” says Principal Karen Jurjevich. “We are confident that Anima’s findings will provide us with the information and metrics we need to continue to formulate constructive DEI plans, policies and programs.”
is an award-winning firm and a thought leader on DEI issues. Co-founders and experienced consultants Shakil Choudhury and Annahid Dashtgard will lead the audit. Anima offers research and analysis skills with an emphasis on best practices, and extensive consultancy experience with public, non-profit and corporate sector organizations.
“When schools don’t pay attention to identity, we basically do what’s known as ‘cultural cloning,’” Choudhury says. “We just recreate the system that has always been here. We hire, promote and advance people most like us.” In turn, this approach narrows the range of role models available to students, Choudhury says.
The audit is part of intensive efforts to create a culture that encourages advocacy, anti-racism and anti-discrimination, and values the lived experiences of all community members. This mandate was explicitly set out in Branksome's DEI Initial Strategic Action Plan
, under the leadership of Dr. Mira Gambhir, Branksome’s Head, Research, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Anima Leadership was selected through a competitive process that required applicants to have experience working with schools and universities, strong DEI standards and framework, and proven methodology steeped in sustainable organizational change.
The one-year audit, scheduled to begin this month, will include a comprehensive review of Branksome’s policies and procedures, and will also explore student and employee experiences, conduct surveys and focus groups, and review policies and publications including those related to human resources, marketing and admissions.
Results will be shared with the community and findings will be posted to the school’s DEI website
“The launch of this audit is an important step toward our goal of being a community that effectively embraces diversity, equity and inclusion,” says Dr. Gambhir. “We look forward to working with the team at Anima Leadership, and are delighted to welcome them to Branksome Hall.”